Jump to content

Bagging bunnies


Chevi
 Share

Recommended Posts

April 28, 75CE

"ATTIS! Do be so kind and drag your fine behind out of bed! We are going hunting!"

Metella's cheerful sing-song voice echoed through the slave quarters, earning a few snickers from the servants who were already up and going about their early morning business. The red-haired nurse stood in the door of Attis' room, a large basket filled with flowers resting on one of her round hips. A bright wreath of cornflowers, dandelions, and other assorted wildflowers rested on her head, and she was wearing the bright green dress she usually saved for festival days. Like today.

"Happy Floralia!" she grinned, pushing the door open to peer into the room, not really caring what state of undress or consciousness Attis was currently in. She had seen it all before. She took a wreath of violets and daisies and tossed it in his direction "Make yourself pretty. Hop hop!"

@Sharpie

  • Haha 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Blergh." Attis burrowed deeper into the blanket, chasing the remnants of sleep for as long as he could. It wasn't often that he got to sleep in, after all, and he was determined to enjoy it as much as possible.

It was a futile effort, though, and he pushed the blankets down, revealing his bare chest (he almost never wore anything to bed, especially since Longinus' return to Rome - Attis might have complained about the British weather but he must have grown used to it at some point because Rome seemed so warm to him now).

"What?" he said, scrubbing at his eyes and looking up to find that it wasn't his master who'd disturbed him, but Metella, her fiery hair crowned with a wreath of flowers. He snatched his blanket back up in case he'd shown more of himself than he'd intended, before his brain caught up. "You could spend it with me instead, you know," he added, trying his best to look sexy rather than sleepy. "Much nicer than traipsing all over Rome..."

 

@Chevi

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"What?"

"Flo-ra-li-a" Metella repeated herself as Attis emerged from his blankets, blinking like an owl. He was not wearing anything, from what she could tell, and once he realized that he pulled the covers up, all the while trying to look seductive. Metella smirked. Adorable.

"You could spend it with me instead, you know. Much nicer than traipsing all over Rome..."

"I could." she agreed, resting her free hand on her hip as the other was still holding the basket of flowers. A heavy scent of fresh flowers filled the small room as she shook the basket impatiently "Or we could go out to Flora's altar and catch some rabbits. And maybe a goat. It's Floralia, Attis! We can do the dirty any other day."

@Sharpie

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Gods only know what rabbits have yo do with anything - and there isn't likely to be so much as a whisker of one anywhere nearer than Narnia," Attis said, before his face split in a yawn. He stretched, the blanket slipping back down to his thighs, barely keeping him decent. "Are you sure you wouldn't rather laze about in here?"

Of course she wouldn't. He reached for a crumpled tunic and dragging it over his head before trying to find his belt and sandals.

"Gods, you're gorgeous, you know," he added, buckling his belt around his waist and pausing to look up at her before getting his sandals on.

 

@Chevi

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Attis abandoned modesty for stretching and yawning. Metella gave him an appreciative once over. It wasn't like he wasn't nice to look at.

"Gods only know what rabbits have yo do with anything - and there isn't likely to be so much as a whisker of one anywhere nearer than Narnia,"

"Do I need to explain to you what rabbits have to do with spring? You Romans are more dense than I thought. I'm going to have to give you a lesson later." she grinned. She knew Attis probably knew full well the connection between hares and fertility, and that was exactly what Floralia was about: glorious, glorious springtime, flowers, fresh things, and... bunnies.

"Are you sure you wouldn't rather laze about in here?"

"Dead sure."

Attis finally got himself out of bed and dressed. Gods, he was slow early in the morning. Metella walked over to pick up the wreath of daisies and violets from his bed.

"Gods, you're gorgeous, you know," 

"I'm aware" she chuckled, reaching up to place the wreath on his messy hair. "Happy Floralia. Try to muster up some excitement for this glorious holiday. It's like one of the five best things Romans ever invented."

@Sharpie

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"The others being sex, garum and sex," he said, putting his arms around her giving her a kiss as she came within reach.

He wouldn't mind something in his belly, at least, especially if he was expected to spend the morning chasing after bunny rabbits while wearing a stupid wreath. "Why did you have to be a morning person? It's your one serious failing," he said, reaching to straighten the wreath. "Can I at least have breakfast first? It's hard to muster up any sort of excitement on an empty stomach."

He was willing to bet their master was going to kill himself laughing when he saw them both. He might just walk past the tablinum, or wherever Longinus was, just to watch him do it. He was almost positive, in fact, that Longinus had set the whole thing up in the first place.

 

@Chevi

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"The others being sex, garum and sex," 

"You think Romans invented sex? That's cute." Metella snickered, allowing him to kiss her before she turned on her heel to head out of the room. She left it up to his imagination what the other four best things were. But one of them were hot baths. For sure.

"Why did you have to be a morning person? It's your one serious failing. Can I at least have breakfast first? It's hard to muster up any sort of excitement on an empty stomach."

"I have some breakfast for you" Metella noted shaking the basket as she walked "You can eat on the way. Early birds get the worm. Or rabbit. Does this make us eagles? Imagine you're an eagle."

 Walking on, they crossed the inside courtyard of the domus, heading for the door. Longinus must have woken up early too, because he was eating his breakfast in the garden. Metella greeted him with a nod. "Good morning, dominus. You don't mind if I borrow Attis, do you?"

@Sharpie @Sara

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Longinus waved a hand at Vitus; "It can wait." which produced the mother of all eye rolls from his secretary who stood looming over the table in the garden, "Domine you've been saying that for the last month, and with respect, it couldn't wait then - let alone now!" The flustering, red cheeked man made Longinus grin and he simply shrugged his shoulders apathetically. If there was one thing Longinus loathed, it was tedious administration - and the vineyards he had bought a few years ago, now they were finally making profit, was full of the stuff. 

Vitus pinched the bridge of his nose, evidently  trying to hold it together which just made Longinus grin more. His slaves were a constant source of amusement for him, and none moreso than Attis - who he spied walking round the periphery of the garden. His laugh echoed around the columns - and tears of amusement came to his eyes. "Wh...What on earth are you wearing?!" He exclaimed breathlessly through his laughs, although he knew full well it was Floralia, and Metella's favourite holiday. Which was not surprising given his attempts to cook for his slaves at Saturnalia last year gave five of them food poisoning. 

He waved a hand at Metella, his laughing finally settling down. "Be my guest, you will try and bring him back in one piece though, won't you?" Metella had asked his permission a few days prior to borrow his body slave, and so he knew this would be coming but the addition of the pretty little wreath atop Attis' and her heads made it much better than he had imagined. He had nothing pressing (at least not in his mind, Vitus disagreed) to do today and Cassia was planning on going out with his mother, which meant both of their services weren't critical today. 

He dismissed them with a wave of his hand, a grin still on his face. As they moved to leave he grinned and called behind them, laughing; "Don't do anything today that I wouldn't do!" and went back to ignoring Vitus' entreaties. 

 

TAG: @Sharpie @Chevi

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Attis cheerfully gave his master the finger. "This is probably your fault, Domine," he said. "Even if it's not, I'm blaming you. Because it's always your fault."

The undercooked chicken that had given Attis and four others food poisoning last Saturnalia had definitely been Longinus' fault. This year, Attis was going to bar him from going anywhere near the kitchen - he could serve at the table like any other master, if he wanted to play-act at slaves, but he was stepping into the kitchen over Attis' dead body.

"We'll bring you back a wreath, Domine, and all the rabbits we can catch. Make Vitus a happy boy and sign those documents, there's a good master, and I'll bring you back a treat."

He linked his arm through Metella's. "So, where are you dragging me out to, and I do hope you've got somewhere nice planned for us to have breakfast."

 

@Chevi

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Metella was outspoken, but she was not stupid. She had asked Longinus ahead of time if she could take Attis to Floralia, and her master had said yes. Of course Attis did not need to know about  all the planning that had gone into this day. That was the beauty of plans.

"Be my guest, you will try and bring him back in one piece though, won't you? Don't do anything today that I wouldn't do!" 

"Absolutely, dominus." Metella smiled and waved. "... that doesn't narrow it down much does it" she added under her breath with a smirk.

"We'll bring you back a wreath, Domine, and all the rabbits we can catch. Make Vitus a happy boy and sign those documents, there's a good master, and I'll bring you back a treat."

Metella arched an eyebrow at Attis. He was really allowing himself some free speech here, as if it was Saturnalia or something. She glanced over her shoulder at Longinus who was making a very displeased face at his body slave's cheek, but he didn't call after them. She knew he might take it out on Attis later in some way, but for now, they were in the clear. Gods bless dominus.

"So, where are you dragging me out to, and I do hope you've got somewhere nice planned for us to have breakfast."

"We are going to Flora's temple down by the Aventine." she answered, reaching into her basked and taking out a sweet bread roll, handing it to Attis "They will release a whole lot of rabbits for people to chase in the temple gardens. Some also get out on the streets sometimes. And some goats. So maybe if we catch some nice fat bunnies dominus will forgive you for being an ass to him just now."

@Sharpie

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

He'd overstepped and knew it - and would pay for it later. Still, it had been worth it, to see his master's face - and anyway, what had he expected? Attis was not the sort for flowered wreaths at any time, generally - the only reason he was wearing one now was to make Metella happy.

"Dominus is probably going to take it out of my skin even if we do bring back a nice fat bunny rabbit or two for him," he said with a shrug, biting into the roll she handed him. "Oh well. I'll live. And if I don't, it was nice knowing you. And... we could do pretty much anything short of burning the city down and still not cross into doing something he wouldn't do. Did you see him after his night out with Titus Sulpicius Rufus the other... whenever it was?"

He'd have to watch his tongue more carefully for a while; he didn't want his master to rethink Attis' position too hard. Thank the gods there hadn't been any other citizens around to hear his slip-up; who knew what might happen if there had been!

"You've been looking into this. There're so many festivals, I don't think I know half of them!"

 

@Chevi

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Attis had to know that he had gone too far in calling out Longinus just now. Not that it was any of Metella's business. They would sort it out when they got back, and if Longinus wanted to punish Attis for giving him cheek, it was within his rights.

"Dominus is probably going to take it out of my skin even if we do bring back a nice fat bunny rabbit or two for him. Oh well. I'll live. And if I don't, it was nice knowing you. And... we could do pretty much anything short of burning the city down and still not cross into doing something he wouldn't do. Did you see him after his night out with Titus Sulpicius Rufus the other... whenever it was?"

"Oh, I can't really think or anything he wouldn't do, so we are covered on that front" Metella grinned. Longinus was not a bad master, and he had a soft spot for his favorite slaves. As long as Metella and Attis did not stir up some kind of a scandal in public, he would allow them to enjoy the celebrations of Floralia to their own delight.

"You've been looking into this. There're so many festivals, I don't think I know half of them!"

"I don't care about half of them. But this one is fun" she noted. "This one, and Saturnalia, whenever Longinus is not cooking. Why, which ones do you like?"

@Sharpie

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"I don't really care for any of them except Saturnalia - and even that's only fun when Dominus doesn't go anywhere near the kitchen. I'm not letting him within a dozen paces of the kitchen next time. If he wants to serve, he can jolly well wait at table rather than trying to poison everyone. Though I don't think that was on purpose."

It was a nice day for a stroll down the hill towards the Aventine, at least, and Attis much preferred the streets and bustle of Rome to the wide open barren hills and chilly rain of Britannia. He'd finished his bread roll by now, and made Metella pause by a fountain so that he could get a drink. It wasn't wine, but surely they could manage to stop by a taberna or two at some point during the day. And maybe the baths on the way home - though perhaps not, if they'd got the rabbit Metella was so desperate to get.

"They're all a bit weird, anyway - did you see the Lupercalia, a couple of months ago?"

 

@Chevi

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"I don't really care for any of them except Saturnalia - and even that's only fun when Dominus doesn't go anywhere near the kitchen. I'm not letting him within a dozen paces of the kitchen next time. If he wants to serve, he can jolly well wait at table rather than trying to poison everyone. Though I don't think that was on purpose."

It was no big wonder that Attis liked Saturnalia. It was the biggest festival that allowed freedom to slaves, for the duration anyway, and the time when everything turned upside down, and slaves like Attis could get cheeky with their masters without risking anything. Longinus took it all in good fun, and since his wife used to cook for the slaves before she died he made a heroic albeit misguided attempt at cooking himself. It did not go well, but it did the work of showing that he took the festival seriously. Metella chuckled at the memory.

"They're all a bit weird, anyway - did you see the Lupercalia, a couple of months ago?"

"Oh, I stayed inside for that one. I heard the men were running around lashing women for fertility, and honestly the last thing I want to be right about now is fertile." she noted, giving Attis a pointed look. If they managed to accidentally make a baby, she would be in a world of trouble. 

Attis finished the bread and drank some water. As they approached Flora's temple by the Aventine, there was already a small crowd of people gathering in the gardens, decorated with flowers and wreaths, chatting excitedly. 

@Sharpie

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"They don't go for any woman who happens to be there, they go for the ones who make it clear they want it," Attis said, and shrugged, letting the matter drop. "You know he wouldn't mind if you and I..." He quirked an eyebrow at her. "What are we supposed to do with this rabbit once we've caught it, anyway? Keep it for a pet?" (Cassia would no doubt be thrilled, Longinus less so - and the gardener even less so than their master.) "Or cook it over coals at midnight and eaten before dawn?"

He slipped his arm around her waist. If he was going to be in trouble later, well, he might as well enjoy the day - especially as he'd been dragged out of bed for this, too.

"You'd make a lovely mother," he added, turning his head. There was a patch of skin just below her ear that looked as if it needed a kiss, so he obliged it.

 

@Chevi

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"They don't go for any woman who happens to be there, they go for the ones who make it clear they want it. You know he wouldn't mind if you and I..."

"I know." Metella knew that marriage between slaves was not uncommon, as long as their master gave permission. Longinus would. He was fond of Attis and her, and it would have probably pleased him if they decided to start a family in his household. No, Longinus was not the problem here. Attis was a bit of fun, but Metella was in no rush to make things serious with him. Where would be the fun in that?

"What are we supposed to do with this rabbit once we've caught it, anyway? Keep it for a pet? Or cook it over coals at midnight and eaten before dawn?"

"We'll see. Cassia would probably like to keep one, but stew is not a bad idea either." she shrugged. The thrill was in the chase, really. Other people around them seemed equally excited. 

"You'd make a lovely mother,"

He kissed her below the ear. Metella sighed, turning to frame his cheek with one hand and look him square in the yes.

"I'm going to let you in on a secret, Attis." she deadpanned "No woman is going to get hot and bothered from being told you are going to make them pregnant." Metella had been present at the birth of several children. None of it ever looked appealing. She patted Attis on the cheek with a smile. "Flowers are nice, though."

@Sharpie

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"There's a first time for everything," he replied. Did he look the sort of sap who'd go hunting high and low for flowers?

Scratch that; he probably did.

"I'm not made of money, you know. Dominus'd be a sight richer if I was. Where'm I supposed to find flowers from unless I take them out of the garden? Daisies and whatever else might work for a wreath for Floralia but you'd hardly be impressed if I brought you a bunch of them." The wreath wasn't likely to last long, and a bunch of daisies and buttercups and gods knew what else would last even less time, surely.

"Anyway, Dominus'd go all mushy over a baby, bet you anything he would."

And then probably panic that the house wasn't the right sort of place for a child, never mind his own daughter lived there.

 

@Chevi

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"There's a first time for everything,"

"I'll believe that when the first man gives birth." Metella chuckled. Until then she was not going to discuss this thing with the babies. Attis seemed intent on making this a thing, but Attis was wrong. It was a fairly common phenomenon, he was bound to get used to it sooner or later.

"I'm not made of money, you know. Dominus'd be a sight richer if I was. Where'm I supposed to find flowers from unless I take them out of the garden? Daisies and whatever else might work for a wreath for Floralia but you'd hardly be impressed if I brought you a bunch of them. Anyway, Dominus'd go all mushy over a baby, bet you anything he would."

"Well then dominus can make his own. I'm still raising the previous one." Metella noted, declaring the argument closed. The crowd gathered around the temple, already overflowing with the scent of incense, and the scent of flowers that were used in the thousands in decorating the building, and growing all over the gardens in a riot of color. The gates were open; musicians were playing cheerful music for the celebration in the gardens. 

Suddenly, the sound of bells rang out. Everyone cheered; flowers were tossed into the air from baskets. Metella looked around, blushing with excitement. Soft clicking sounds could be heard as small, hidden cages sprung open all over the gardens. Soon the first squeal followed as someone spotted a rabbit.

"Here we go! Keep your eyes peeled, Attis!"

@Sharpie

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh gods - why had he let her talk him into this, again? Oh, that's right: because he was a sucker for a nice smile and pretty eyes. And that hair!

Their master was intent on getting together with Sestia Vaticana, anyway, so he might yet get to making more babies of his own, and Attis would be left out in the cold, yet again. Gods knew what he'd done to deserve that - he didn't think he'd ever back-talked Jupiter!

"You've got to be fast if you want one, Metella!" he said, letting her go so she could have a better chance of grabbing at one without them both taking a dive and getting under people's feet. "What'll you give me if I catch one?"

 

@Chevi

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

People were beginning to move now as bunnies began to scamper for hiding places. The crowd scattered across the gardens, darting here and there just as the animals did. A few stood in place, waiting for the goats that were rare, but easier to catch. Attis let go of her arm, and Metella placed her basket under a bush.

"You've got to be fast if you want one, Metella!"

"Do try to keep up" she grinned, using one hand to lift her stola. It was not the most modest of moves, but made running easier, and all the women were doing it anyway. It was Floralia, after all. 

"What'll you give me if I catch one?"

Metella looked at Attis, arching an eyebrow. Now he was trying to get something out of this. Oh well, the man was wearing flowers and chasing bunnies. He deserved a bone.

"Catch three, and I'll sleep in your room tonight."

@Sharpie

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

He opened his mouth to ask what it would take to get her to sleep with him, rather than merely in his room, and just managed to catch himself. He was in trouble with his master as it was, he did not need to make any sort of offer that he wouldn't be able to keep, or to back out of gracefully (well. Disgracefully, knowing him!) and those rabbits were fast.

"Did you bring something to put them in?" he asked, wondering if he would even manage to bag one. He didn't wait to hear her answer before one rabbit ran right past them and he threw himself at the thing, hoping to catch one at least. He wasn't sure which of them was more surprised, the rabbit or himself, as he rolled over and held it up to her.

 

@Chevi

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Did you bring something to put them in?"

"There's a bag in my basket!" Metella laughed, spotting a bunny under a bush and darting for it, only to see it hop away under the branches. They were were quick, and people yelling at them from all directions only enhanced the chaos. "Come here you little shit!"

Metella lost track of the rabbit and turned back, only to see Attis dive for a fuzzy creature and hold it up with a surprised face that made her burst out laughing.

"Look at you! Never let anyone say you can't be motivated" she grinned, taking the rabbit from him and rubbing her nose against its little pink nose before she returned to her basket to put the bunny in a bag.

@Sharpie

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Contrary to popular opinion, I am motivated by a great many things," Attis informed her, scrambling to his feet and dusting himself down. Sex was only one of them, though he had noticed that she'd said she would spend the night in his room. Which didn't necessarily mean in his bed, of course, but some things could be improved on, with care.

Yelling people and panicked bunny rabbits made for a peculiar sort of celebration, in Attis' mind, though Floralia was by no means the weirdest festival the Romans had. Attis was by no means pious, in any sense of the word, though he had as healthy a respect for the supernatural as any Roman. He couldn't help finding the rituals of Lupercalia or Lemuria hilarious, looking at them as an observer, although the bean-throwing of Lemuria must have some effect because the household had never been troubled by any sort of undead spirit.

Another rabbit tore past him and he threw himself at it, getting his fingers trodden on by some other devotee in the process. "Bastard!"

 

@Chevi

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Contrary to popular opinion, I am motivated by a great many things,"

"Sure you are" Metella grinned, putting the bunny in the bag before she turned around to see about getting more of them. Whether Attis was motivated by her promise to spend the night in his room, or just the general jolly mood of Floralia, he was doing his best to keep up with the rest of the people chasing the little fuzzballs around the gardens.

"Bastard!"

Attis lunged at a bunny and missed, getting stepped on instead. Metella stopped at his side to help him up. "Some people don't respect the spirit of Floralia" she noted with a grin "Shall we hunt together?"

@Sharpie

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"I thought you'd dragged me out just to laugh at me for making an idiot of myself, though I'm pretty sure we didn't have to leave the house for that," Attis replied, shaking his hand to displace the pain. "It's always better to work together though, and I'm open to suggestions."

Especially if they worked and she'd include any rabbits caught in the total when counting them up this evening. She made a fine sight, with the wreath of flowers on her bright copper hair.

@Chevi

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...