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Charis

Agony Aunt

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Late February 75AD

Charis paced, glancing up at the sun every few steps and then back to the gate to the gardens she suspected Cynane would walk through into. Getting a message to her friend had been nigh on impossible and as the minutes slipped by, she suspected the little slave she'd begged to deliver a message hadn't been successful, or pocketed the handful of coins she'd managed to scrape together and never sought Cynane in the first place. Charis had seen her friend almost every month since that first day in the Gardens, a combination of meetings pre-arranged and pre-planned, but this was different. They had not been supposed to meet for weeks, but this was urgent and couldn't wait. By March it would be too late. 

Her message, given my the little girl, had been simple; Gardens of Sallust, midday, urgent. She didn't want to frighten her friend, but she needed to see her. There were few she could turn to now; Rhoda for all her kindness, would spread this news round the house faster than a plague and Teutus was no longer her Teutus - not that he'd be interested in such 'feminine issues' anyway. Besides, Cynane was her friend, her closest friend. She needed her.

Anxiety growing she stopped to take a seat on the manicured grass, folding her head in her hands. Today she couldn't enjoy the beauty of the place, nor its visitors. Every few moments the sound of children with their mother or slaves and it felt heartbreaking. She placed her hands over her ears to block out the childish giggling or babies screaming and only when she felt a tap on her shoulder did she look up to see her friend. "You came." She managed.

 

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It was good to have a friend like Charis – she was fun to be around and the more time they spent together, the more she looked forwards to their next meeting. It had been a long while since Cynane had any close friends. She got along well with Volusa, of course and Claudia… well that was something else entirely, but she did not confide in Claudia. She was still Cynane’s mistress and domina, after all, not someone from her own country and in the same situation as she.

Still though, she was surprised when a girl showed up with a message for her. It was short and the part about it being urgent worried her. Usually they saw each other maybe once every month, maybe twice, but it had barely been two weeks since last time and Charis needed to see her, now?

Luckily Claudia was nice and understanding, as always, she was at home anyway and with no plans for the rest of the day… so Cynane was allowed to leave and she did. Walking with fast paces through Rome towards the gardens and their usual meeting spot. Her long hair done up in a simple, long braid down her back today and the rest of her clothes were nothing out the ordinary for Cynane. She easily found Charis, who sat on the grass with hands over her ears. That was even more worrisome… she tapped Charis on the shoulder.

“Of course I came.” She said and moved to sit down with Charis, watching her with concern written all over her face, “What’s wrong? I came as fast as I could.”

@Sara

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It hadn't occurred to Charis until after she had sent the message that Cynane might be busy, as all slaves should be. For her part she had mumbled to Jocasta that she had an errand to run in the city, but the excuse was thin and she didn't have long before she'd have to return back or face the questioning of the other slaves or her dominus. Neither of which she wanted to endure, presently. 

As her friend sat down next to her, she moved to wrap her arms around the taller blonde woman in a hug. She was not usually somebody that needed a great deal of comfort. Very much a pragmatist, Charis usually just planned and followed through - trying to divert emotions as much as possible. But this was different, and even for just a few moments, she needed pure and simple comfort. Wordlessly, she finally withdrew from her embrace and shook her head, struggling to speak. People moved around them and cast the odd glance their way - it must have looked strange to see such emotion in the middle of the most celebrated public gardens in Rome. She didn't even consider (mercifully) that this was the very place where her relationship with Tertius had changed so dynamically. 

"I'm pregnant." She blurted out, finally finding the words although it seemed surreal to say them. 

 

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Cynane had not been more busy than usual – after all, she was most busy when Claudia left the palace and she didn’t all the time. When she was present in the palace, Cynane just had to stand guard, along with the assigned praetorians, but they worked in shifts of course. And she was allowed to leave by her mistress, so all was well. All was clearly not well with Charis, however! She sat on the grass with hands over her ears and when Cynane arrived, Charis greeted her but didn’t smile. When Cynane sat down, Charis wrapped her arms around Cynane, who was surprised, but returned the gesture of course. It was clearly what her friend needed! She held Charis close, wondering what was wrong, her friend never acted this way before.

When she finally pulled back from the embrace, she shook her head and Cynane could hardly be more worried. But after a few moments, it came. Charis was pregnant. Just like that.

“Oh…” Cynane said and inhaled a breath, “I’m sorry to hear that. It is his, I assume?” His, meaning Tertius’ of course, but she didn’t think she needed to mention his name. Charis had not spoken to her about any other lovers she had taken, although of course her friend had confessed how more than one man had offered himself to her. But she had remained true to her owner, as far as Cynane knew.

It should be happy news, when someone announced they were pregnant. But Charis was clearly not happy about it, so how could Cynane be?  Fucking Romans! 

@Sara

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Charis nodded mutely before adding, to clarify; "It's his." The irony of course being that she'd only recently begun to feel more like herself, which came with the benefit of...appreciating men once more. It had been almost an exact year since she had been bought by Tertius, and she'd healed a great deal in that time. But now all of that progress was to be undone, and she felt defenceless. 

She moved to hold Cynane's hand as they sat their wordlessly. She just needed comfort, somebody around her. She remembered her sisters excitement the last, and only, time she had been pregnant. Whilst she didn't need Cynane's happiness, she needed her presence.

After some time, sitting there, silent, she spoke. "I...am going to end it." She glanced across to her friend to gauge her reaction, desperately hoping for support. "I...went to see a midwife and she gave me the name of another who can...who can..." She swallowed the hoarse lump in her throat, finding it almost impossible to say. How had she ended up here? She knew full well she'd made this bed herself, and now had to lie in it. "Who can help me." She nibbled on her lip. To tell her, her news was not the only reason she had invited Cynane here and now she felt shame wash over her. "But it costs..." 

 

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Posted (edited)

Cynane sat quietly while her friend indeed stated, that the child belonged to her owner. She thought as much, who else would be the father? Charis in general didn’t like the Romans – the friends she had made, as far as Cynane knew, were other slaves and the like. Not any true Romans. She simply nodded at her friend’s statement and then Charis took her hand and Cynane squeezed it, waiting for Charis to be ready to speak more.

Finally Charis said she would end it. Cynane’s eyes widened, but she let Charis finish. She spoke of a midwife and seemed uncertain and said it would cost her. Indeed it might!

“It could cost you your life, Charis… Erea…” Cynane said, looking to meet her eyes, while she thought it over. She might have been in Rome for many years now, but she still believed in her old gods and she knew Charis did too. And still she would do this? Cynane couldn’t stand the thought and image of Charis going to a midwife to have someone kill her unborn child, just because of who its father was. She was worried more now.

“Brigid has blessed you… I can’t imagine it was because you should get rid of it. I’m sorry, chara… but I don’t want to see you dead because of your careless master and his unborn child.” She hoped Charis would understand. Had she even thought of these things? She could understand Charis – her owner, the man who took her against her will, had made her pregnant. But that was hardly the child’s fault. And Charis would still get rid of the child, and maybe herself in the process. It was dangerous and sad at the same time. She understood the dilemma. But she didn’t want this to happen.

@Sara

*chara, Irish/Celtic word for friend

*Brigid - Celtic goddess associated with spring, fertility, healing, poetry and smithcraft

 

Edited by Atrice
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Charis scrunched up her face, attempting not to get upset, desperately and quickly muttered; "I know the r-risks..." but did she? She'd considered them, briefly. The thought had crossed her mind that there was a chance that whatever she did would take her life as well as that of her child, but only in a passing way. Her denial extended to the point that she didn't even want to factor it into her plans. She couldn't face that reality. 

At Cynane's words she felt her breath catch in her throat. She had expected support, but that was naive, given the circumstances. She shook her head, feeling irritation bubble in her chest; "Brigid hasn't blessed me - she's given me a child with a man that..." She swallowed, Cynane knew full well that whatever had occurred with Tertius had not been consensual, she had no need to say it out loud. She bit at her lip and looked across at her friend with upset in her eyes and on her face; "I...need your support  Cinnia, please...you know I can't have his child. Y-you would do the same as me, if you were in this...state." Surely she would? Surely she wouldn't try and carry on?

 

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Cynane hoped she was not risking this very good friendship they had, but she feared for Charis’ life now. She knew Charis didn’t want to hear that she should keep the child and she understood perfectly well why. Her friend had been violated, taken to bed against her will so many times now and now she found herself pregnant… and didn’t want a child with the man who did this to her. She understood. But she also knew the risks. She’d heard about plenty of women dying because they wanted to get rid of the child… she had even known them, when she was a gladiatrix. Thankfully Cynane had never been with child (she now wondered if she might be barren, but thank the gods, she didn’t need a slaveborn child anyway). Still though, she could see it from both sides. Or she thought she could.

Charis said she knew the risks, but of course she was not happy with what Cynane had said. She’d tried to turn it around, tried to make Charis understand she ought to keep it and not risk her life. But she did not believe that their goddess Brigid had blessed her at all and of course she wanted support.

“I don’t know… all I know is I don’t want to lose you.” Cynane said and met Charis’ eyes, “I want to support you, Charis. And you have my shoulder.” She said then, suddenly overwhelmed by the situation and she blinked a tear away, “But I don’t want to see you in pain because of him… or something he did.” She inhaled a breath and then sighed, “I don’t know what I would have done. Luckily I never had to make the decision. And in the end, it is your decision. I will still be here after, no matter what you do. If you’re still here. If you want me to be here.” Gods it was not fair that sweet and pretty Charis had been messed up by such a beast of a Roman as her owner and now she’d rather attempt something that might kill her, than attempt anything else. And if she didn’t die, she might not want to see Cynane again, after today. She understood that too. But if it saved her friend’s life, wasn’t it worth it?

@Sara

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Charis eyed her friend uneasily as she spoke, wrapping her arms around herself. She managed to mumble over her friends words; "You won't lose me." But the words were hollow and meaningless, Charis didn't know if she'd live through it - even though she might be trying to convince herself that she would. 

She watched the upset on Cynane's face and felt a lurch of guilt - she had taken out her frustration on her friend when she had only spoken reasonably, out of concern. She was about to speak when the other Briton continued and Charis immediately reached out to wrap her friend in a hug, pressing her face into the others neck. She spoke against her skin before pulling back, placing her hands either side of Cynane's face to make her look at her; "Of course I want you to be here." She released her hands and folded them in her lap, trying desperately not to wrap them around her stomach - a habit she'd started to pick up, even if the bump was barely perceivable. 

"I...just need to do this Cinnia, please do not judge me," She swallowed and then bit at her lip, "And if it works and I am fine, which I will be, he will never know and if it does not work or...or I get ill," Ill rather than dead was as far as she could think, "Then he will fetch a medicus I'm sure." but she wasn't sure. Tertius had been very clear that she was not to lie to him again, and a betrayal of this size might flip him completely. But even then she couldn't imagine he'd let her bleed out to her death. She squeezed Cynane's hand and offered a hoarse laugh, "I'm sorry I ruined your day with my news. I just...needed a friendly face." 

 

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Charis said Cynane would not lose her and embraced herself, as if to protect her body… and maybe her emotions. Cynane felt sorry for her – a feeling she often had with Charis – but she also couldn’t do much. Charis seemed certain about her decision, even though Cynane was unable to agree with her. But she would still be here. You could disagree on something and still be friends, she believed. And she only disagreed because she cared. Of course though, she didn’t know if Charis would see it that way.

Her friend however said she wanted Cynane to be there, and she wrapped Cynane into a tight hug, “I will be here.” Cynane promised, after returning the warm embrace. Her friend said again that she had to do it and she was certain it would be fine either way. Either she would survive and all would be well or her master would fetch a medicus if she grew ill because of her plan to get rid of the child. Then she apologized for ruining Cynane’s day.

“You didn’t ruin anything. Life is what it is, for people like us… and sometimes it takes unexpected turns.” Cynane said. She didn't expect to serve a princess! And now she didn't want to leave Claudia either, she was too precious. At least Claudia would never get her pregnant! Charis life was too, though. She squeezed Charis’ hand back, “But I like you and I care about you, no matter what.” She said and grew thoughtful for a moment. How would Charis get it done? Herbs… or see someone about it, who would perform that dreaded procedure? It sounded like the latter. And now she hated the thought of Charis going alone; she knew her friend could be independent and more fierce, but right now she seemed so uncertain and Cynane would be her support, she already promised that.

“Do you want me to come with you, to… get it done?”

@Sara

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Charis eyed her friend and squeezed her hand. What she would give for Cynane's fortitude. She always thought of herself as strong, and practical and she supposed in a way she was. She knew what she needed to do, and was resolute in doing so, but she couldn't shake the upset or the guilt that ate away at her. She had never wished to be in this position and yet here she was, all because her dominus couldn't keep his hands or his cock to himself. 

At her question she simply shook her head and bit at her lip, "No...no they said there are herbs, I can take them back at the domus and it will just be like my monthly bleed." Deep down she knew it was likely untrue; she was probably nearly three months pregnant and whilst showing very little, she doubted it would be just the same as her flux. Still, she didn't wish to dwell on the specifics and squeezed Cynane's hand again, "There were other ways but..." She wrinkled her nose and swallowed, "I can't...but I need money and I can't go to my dominus." She wasn't asking Cynane for it although it must have seemed such and she shook her head, "I am sure there are people I can go to for it, don't worry..." She offered a half-smile, "Domine's son...Teutus, the slave you remember - who is now freed? He always liked me..." She sighed. She'd hate to play on his emotions like that but...needs must.

 

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Cynane might seem strong and brave and maybe she was, but it was just that she didn’t see that she had other options. Her life in Rome had been about survival for many years and you would not survive as a gladiatrix if you weren’t strong and brave… both physically and mentally. And now it was just like that; she had to stay strong and not just for herself, but for her friends. For Charis, today. Charis squeezed her hand again and then answered Cynane’s question.

She said she didn’t need Cynane to come, because she would be taking some herbs and spoke of the process being like her monthly bleed. It wouldn’t be. Why was she so convinced it would be fine? Had she ever seen others do this to themselves? Probably not, not here in Rome anyway. She just nodded quietly, while her friend continued about how there were other ways to remove an unborn child, but she didn’t have the money for it.

“I’m sorry I can’t help you.” She said with a little frown, before Charis said that her owner’s son might help her. Charis had talked about him before, but it seemed like they too had a strange relationship. She didn’t have much luck with men in Rome, did she?

“Just be careful, if you ask him for help. You don’t think he’ll tell his father?” She would be worried about that. Teutus might say he was Charis friend and all, but he was freed now and Charis was still just a slave. Things had changed. Obligations changed with such things.

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Charis nibbled on her lip, unsure of how to answer. She trusted Teutus. He had shown her how to survive in this place, and how to adapt. They'd shared moments of laughter and genuine happiness, but they'd also argued fiercely and neither of their stubborn streaks had let down enough over the summer, and so they had spent it in petty silence with one another. But did she trust him? After a while she slowly nodded her head and glanced back across at her friend, squeezing her hand.

"No...No I don't think he would. He...liked me, he said he did." Although that seemed like a lifetime ago, "And he was so frustrated at his father - we complained about him together." She smiled a little, "He knows what it is like to grow up the bastard slave son of Tertius - he would not wish that on his brother or sister," She dropped her hand to her still flat belly and felt a pain burst through her heart. Talking of the child as a brother or a sister made it more vivid, more real. She hadn't considered that what grew within here would be a daughter or a son, a brother or a sister, a niece or a nephew. She swallowed the lump in her throat and glanced across at Cynane; "You mustn't worry cariad, I promise...but..." She sighed, trying not to sound flippant, "If you can spare the time you can distract me. Tell me happy things, tell me about you." In truth - she was purposefully trying to divert the conversation to distract from the overwhelming pain of having to dwell on her situation and her choice. It did not, however, make said diversion any less odd. 

 

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Cynane hoped for Charis’ sake, that it was true and that her friend really could trust this Teutus. Maybe Cynane should meet him someday, just to make sure he was alright and nothing like his father – although according to Charis, that was indeed the case. She spoke of how frustrated Teutus had been and that they talked about Tertius together. And how Teutus would not wish to have a slave-brother or sister, who would live the life he’d lived.

“I can imagine he wouldn’t.” Charis’ master was odd, sometimes. Of course she didn’t know his full story or why he acted and reacted the way he did to certain things, but she never heard about anyone like him. She was glad that she belonged to Claudia now, instead of being passed on to such a man. On the other hand, who knew if she’d met him, when she was a gladiatrix? When she was paraded out during parties and orgies and made to sleep with whomever who wanted to conquer a fierce gladiatrix… she shook her head to get rid of the thought, it wasn’t pleasant.

Silence had fallen a little, before Charis said Cynane should not worry, but she would have some distraction. Happy things…

“Not much is happening at the moment… other than that I feel that Claudia appreciates me even more, after the attack last year.” She had told Charis about the attack on Claudia, Aia, Decimus and herself, during which Cynane had killed the leader of the bandits in order to save all of their lives. She trusted Charis to not tell about the incident to others… but really, not much had happened since then, “I’m afraid my life is not half as eventful as yours. I suppose that’s a good thing, in this case.” She added with a little smile, while trying to think about something to do or say, “Do you want to walk a little? Spring is coming and I did see a few flowers while walking here.”

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She smiled at her friend, genuinely pleased that her life - at least right now - appeared less complex than Charis' own, and that her mistress valued her. How could you not though? When she had heard what had happened on the road all those months ago Charis had been equal parts terrified and in awe of her closest friend. That she could risk her own life to save her mistress only spoke volumes about what a good soul she was (and by default, what a good woman Claudia was that she was worth saying). Charis was not convinced if she had the opportunity to save Tertius' life at risk to her own that she would take it. 

At Cynane's offer to walk a little Charis nodded silently and unfolded herself from her position, feeling a wave of nausea but it settled down as she moved a little into the bright sunshine. Cynane was so thoughtful. "I am glad Claudia appreciates you." She said as they began their walk, "You need somebody to realise how wonderful you are - besides me." Her lips twitched in a gentle smile and she shook her head - enjoying the feeling of normality, even for just a few snatched moments. "Do you know it's been over a year since I was captured?" She swallowed - how had time moved so fast? "And nearly a year since I arrived in Rome...so much has happened. I remember when I first met you," Her smile strengthened and she glanced up to her friend, "And you told me it would get better...you were a liar." She grinned, joking.

 

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Cynane's life as a gladiatrix had been tough and rough, but everything seemed so smooth now that she was with Claudia. She did indeed feel that Claudia valued both Cynane and her opinion and she was still proud that Claudia remembered her lessons with Cynane, when they were attacked. There was a reason those lessons were a good idea for a princess, even if they had to be kept secret! She cared about her mistress though and what kind of a bodyguard would she be, had Claudia been harmed? But she hadn't been and after a while, everything had more or less gone back to normal. 

She suggested they should walk a little instead of just sitting here and Charis agreed. Together they stood and Cynane gave her a smile as they began following the paths in the gardens, passing flowerbeds and odd statues here and there. After a while Charis said she was glad Claudia appreciated her and she ought to know how wonderful she was. Wonderful? Cynane arched a brow, but also blushed a little at such words, they were rarely spoken, if ever... she wasn't wonderful, was she? Cynane just did what she had to do in life. All she could do. And she couldn't help but care about people who were kind to her; not after what she'd gone through.

"Thank you." She just said to the compliment then, not sure of what else she should say. Then Charis changed the subject and said it was now over a year since her capture and almost a year since she came to Rome. Hardly something to celebrate though. Only when Charis mentioned meeting Cynane and she smiled, but Charis continued to remind Cynane of something she said. And while Charis smiled and grinned, it was obviously meant as a joke, she couldn't help but... feel it was a little bit personal... "I'm sorry." She said with a little sigh, "I thought it would get easier and better. It does for most. But of course, you're not most. Not that I find that a bad thing." She added, looking at her friend. She knew Charis had not meant it to be so harsh, but she couldn't help it. She had lied, it would seem, but she had good intentions back then.

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Charis glanced up at at her friends face at her apology. She had meant it as a joke between friends but from the look on Cynane's face it had cut deeply. She sighed and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear as they slowly meandered down the paths of the gardens; past the children giggling which turned Charis' stomach and the young lovers taking their rest in the shade. "It has got easier," She said after some quiet, "I was only teasing...besides...this," She couldn't bring herself to verbalise the actual situation and her pregnancy again, "My life is not so bad. And better than when I first arrived." She reached down to hold her friends hand, as she did with her sister when she was younger.

In truth her life was probably better than many of those who she'd shared a cage with on the road to Rome and in the market. She was healthy, for the most part, she had friends - even if they were only few, and she had freedoms others in her position would likely only dream of. It made her feel selfish for begrudging Tertius and his advances, and the child that grew within her now. But she shook her head, no, she had every right to begrudge what had happened. She should be angry and upset by it - this was not the life she was destined for when she was born a free woman in Britannia. "And I am grateful for you every day." She offered a smile to her friend and finally withdrew her hand as they continued to walk. 

 

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Cynane knew that Charis had only meant the words as a joke, but she still could not help but feel there was some truth to it. Charis pointed out that her life had gotten easier and it wasn’t so bad, and she was only teasing, she pointed that out once more. Cynane nodded, “I know. Still I also know there’s some truth to your teasing words.” Cynane replied. She didn’t want to tell a long story about how some slaves definitely had it worse than Charis, that’s not what she needed to hear right now. She knew her friend had really worked hard to try and adapt to her situation, but it had spun out of control now, it seemed. To the point where she’d do something that might threaten her own life.

They were holding hands now, which was nice, walking together through the gardens and both were lost in thoughts for a while – until Charis said she was grateful for Cynane.

“I am grateful for you too. It’s not easy to find friends here in Rome.” Cynane said, “You never know who you can trust.” She added and looked up at Charis’ to meet her eyes, “Please… let me know somehow, once it is… done… how it went.” If she lived, of course. Cynane hoped she would. She better! She would make a sacrifice to Brigid, just in case, she then thought. A sacrifice to ask the goddess to watch over a woman that was certainly not very happy with her situation.

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Charis smiled a little. It had been extremely good luck, that day in the market, when she'd heard the familiar accent and they had begun to speak. In another life Cynane and Charis might never have been friends; their personalities and physicality's very different, their tribes were at war for a large portion of Charis' childhood and histories before that. But here, in Rome, with both of their lives and freedoms curtailed by slavery - she counted Cynane as her closest friend by a significant margin. 

At her plea, Charis offered a soft smile and a nod; "Of course I will...I'll visit you, or we will see each other in two weeks, like usual?" Surely two weeks was plenty of time to recover from such a situation, she thought naively. As they gently strolled, Charis felt another wave of nausea wash over her and slowed her pace a little. Why women the world over called it morning sickness when it seemed to impact her at any point of the day, she had no idea. 

"One day..." She mused quietly, "One day I will be a mother. I always wanted a son called Ninnian after my father." She smiled at the thought. A little black haired boy with big blue eyes like her. This child in her now, wasn't her Ninnian - she was almost sure of it. Not understanding the painful question she was about to pose, she glanced sideways to her friend; "Maybe one day, if you find the right man, you will have your own?" 

 

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When Cynane asked Charis to let her know somehow, how it all went with having the pregnancy removed, Charis gave her a smile and promised to visit or come and see Cynane in two weeks. Two weeks was a long time, she thought, but if Charis made it through the procedure, she would need time to recover. So maybe it wasn’t… she nodded, “Let us agree on that. I’ll wait for you here.” She promised then, she would wait for Charis at the usual spot in the gardens. They kept on walking together though and she noticed Charis slowing down a little; Cynane sent her a worried gaze, but didn’t ask into it.

Then Charis began of speaking of how she did want to be a mother and she would name her son after her father, “That’s a nice thought… and a good name too.” Cynane said and it was good of Charis to keep on hoping for freedom and a freeborn child. That might not happen though, she thought, but she didn’t want to mention that now. It didn’t seem right. Charis then suggested Cynane would find the right man and have her own child.

“I doubt I’ll find the right man in Rome.” She said with a little grin, “And… I don’t know, if I will have children.” She then admitted, “I’ve been with many men, when I was a gladiatrix. I think I told you?” She said. She’d been forced to sleep with them so many times she didn’t even care to count, and the more she fought back, the rougher they were with her. So she stopped fighting to get it over and done with. But it happened anyway, “But not once did I feel or show any signs of having a child in me. Not once. I don’t know if it will ever happen.” Cynane said. It was for the best though. Then she would not have to go through what Charis did right now.

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Charis smiled wryly, "It seems there's plenty of Britons in Rome - maybe one of those will do for you." She's heard familiar accents and their words across the markets and the gardens upon occasion. It wasn't too far fetched to believe there must be freedmen amongst them that would be delighted at the prospect of taking Cynane for a wife, should the bodyguard ever earn her freedom, or be awarded it. The latter seeming much more likely - although she didn't say as much - given her domina's evident like of her.

But she listened in silence and with pain on her face as Cynane continued to speak and she felt a wave of guilt roll and crash over her like the sea in a storm. "I...I'm sorry..." She offered weakly. Here she was, upset - distraught - at having a child and Cynane might not ever be afforded such an opportunity. She tried to offer some comfort and glanced up at the taller woman; "Brigid works in mysterious ways...perhaps she thought those men not worthy of seeding Cinnia's child." It would make sense, she thought, but did that mean Brigid thought Tertius was worthy? She tried not to think of it. 

Trying to be comforting, she continued; "And if it does not happen...then you just have to think of twenty years from now - when we are middle aged women, back home in Britannia in the warm summer with children - adopted or not running round our feet as we wished for a time without them." She could see the image clear as day in her mind, and knew she needed to keep onto that hope.

 

TAG: @Atrice

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In Rome, she thought, it was easier to find a woman she liked, than a man. Charis said Cynane might find a Briton man in Rome and Cynane arched a brow, “I’ve yet to come across one.” The closest was that one time she suddenly met Eppitacos and she wondered if Charis knew his name or knew of him – she must have known of him at least, she thought. Maybe that would be a story to tell for another day. Cynane had known him personally before she was captured and now he’d been sold to someone else here in Rome, after having been a gladiator for years. Fate surely brought them all around down here!

 When Charis spoke of Cynane having children though, she confessed the idea that she might not be able to have children. Charis seemed surprised to hear this and apologized and suggested that the men Cynane had been with had not been worthy to be fathers of her child, “Let’s hope it is so.” She said with a smile, “And there is no need to apologize, you couldn’t know… and it is just an notion I have. I don’t know which is the truth.” She said. Charis then mused about how they’d be back in Britannia in the future, with children running around their feet, wishing for some silence. Cynane chuckled, it was nice to dream, even if they might never come true, these dreams.

 “This is true. Wouldn’t that be nice… to go home. Even though it has changed a lot, I hear.” She added and then smiled, as an idea struck her, “Maybe Germania would be a better place to go, I’ve heard the Romans have yet to make that a province of the empire.”

@Sara

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