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Moving in


Aia
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Early 76CE

The insula was definitely not as fancy a living space as a villa, but it was a step up from a military camp, and a lot less awkward than the Castra. After long months of meeting at taverns and hidden places, Aia and Decimus finally concluded that they needed their own place inside the city, even if neither of them could permanently move in just yet. Eventually, they would have a house. At least, Aia had her eyes set on a house now that she was to be a proper Roman wife. But for now, and insula apartment would have to do. And they found one for rent, in a place that was not horribly suspect. 

Honestly they did not have a lot of stuff to move in. But Decimus had a day off from his praetorian duties, so Aia was excited to spend it together, exploring their new apartment. And hopefully making it more comfortable. Maybe breaking in the bed. Who knew.

The two of them stood at the bottom of the stairs of the building; Aia was carrying a basket of some pots and utensils and food, while she had passed on a larger bundle of bedding and cleaning supplies to Decimus. People were coming and going. Some of those people were likely their future neighbors.

"Well... let's see what it's like on the inside, shall we?"

@Sains @Atrice

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The very thought of living the "home life" had always been a distant thought in Decimus's mind. When one lived and breathed the army for a dozen or so years the real world was thrust away by the cornu's blare and the thunder of marching men. It was something that he'd noticed when he'd been allowed to travel back to his home upon his transfer orders coming in. He'd rise long before the dawn and spend his days (which were probably intended for some form of vacation) diligently performing the more menial tasks that his family hadn't gotten around to. Perhaps that was why he'd been so excited to go about moving into the insula, however humble it might seem. He liked to imagine that beginning this new chapter of their lives together would bring a fresh perspective to life. Also, it sure beat the hell out of sleeping at the Castra.

The insula had proven to be a fairly affordable option and the owner seemed kind enough so, overall, he was optimistic. The business of traveling light for most of their lives had left the both of them with little to bring to the place at first, but he was sure that as the years grew on they'd find the time to fill it with baubles and knick-knacks like proper citizens before too long. 

"Oh, I can hardly wait." he'd say with a smirk. "Do you think they'll bring us our songbirds and pork before or after the silk and jewels?"

As for the tenants that passed them on their ascent to their new home, well, they looked fairly average. Standing amongst courtiers and stuffy old men hadn't caused him to gain an ego, thankfully, and he'd still always prefer an honest working man to a prim and proper senator. 

 

@Chevi @Atrice

 

 

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Alexius had been out on a job last night – for a more or less shady person, but his only job was to stand guard and nothing had happened. In fact, it had been quite boring, but at least it was easy coin to earn. When the sun rose, he was paid and sent on his way and on the way home, he ran into an old ladyfriend and caught up and maybe an hour or two of sleep in her bed afterwards. It was not noon yet though, when he left her home and went to find his own. Luckily he was used to not sleeping a lot during the nights, he often slept at odd hours because his nights were often… busy. That’s just how his life had turned out.

As he came up to the right street and the right entrance and staircase, he found a couple of people almost blocking his way. A slightly shorter guy and a redhead woman by his side, most likely a couple, judging by how close they stood and talked. He didn’t know if he’d seen them before though and they seemed kind of… not stuck, but not moving forwards either. Maybe they were new? Looking at the things they held, he thought they might be moving in. Interesting! Alexius enjoyed meeting new people, after all.  

“Greetings… are you two on your way in? Do you need a hand?” Alexius asked in his most friendly tone, hoping they were as openminded as he was.

@Chevi @Sains

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"Oh, I can hardly wait. Do you think they'll bring us our songbirds and pork before or after the silk and jewels?"

"If you wanted treatment like that, you should have defected to Parthia" Aia grinned. Their new life together was not going to be very luxurious, not at first anyway. Decimus was doing well for himself, especially since he'd saved the princess' life. Who new, maybe he was going to grow rich one day. And if he didn't, Aia still loved him.

A man came up behind them and stopped, no doubt noticing they were new to the building.

“Greetings… are you two on your way in? Do you need a hand?”

"Way in. We are... supposed to be moving in today" Aia admitted, giving him a friendly smile. "I'd love to say we have a whole lot of elabroate furniture to move in... but we don't. Thank you for offering, though."

@Sains @Atrice

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Decimus smiled and nodded in agreement with his love, though he did appreciate the man's offer. He was well built, that was for certain, and for a moment he thought to ask whether he was a legionary man; something about the way he carried himself seemed to hint at the fact that he wasn't, though. 

"I take it you live here, friend?" 

A safe bet. It would be much more of a surprise if this was just a good Samaritan trying to gain favor with Fides. Either that or he was a pickpocket. It might not have been good of Decimus to pass so many judgements on the man just by giving him a once over, but perhaps he'd grown to become a bit of a cynic towards the virtuosity of the average citizen. 

 

@Chevi @Atrice

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They were kind of cute, Alexius thought – they looked almost like some young couple, newly in love and ready to start a life together. Although they weren’t that young, he noticed. But still cute and obviously new to the building. The redhead confirmed they were on their way in and moving in, actually, but they didn’t have a lot of furniture that he could help them with.

 “Always.” Alexius promised the friendly looking couple. The man then suggested Alexius lived here and Alexius gave him a smile.

 “Guilty as charged… it’s not the best, but it’s also not the worst place to live. Actually it’s a very fine insula, I think. Good neighbors too.” He added, he knew more or less everyone and several he knew quite well and called friends by now. Some with benefits, even… he smiled, thinking about that, because honestly it wasn’t the worst thing to think about.

 But these two didn’t know all that yet, so he better just be the friendly and welcoming neighbor and hope they’d get along in the future, “I’m Lucius Antonius Alexius, you can just call me Alexius though. I live on the fourth floor with my son… which floor are you moving into?” He honestly couldn't recall if there were any currently available places on his floor. Didia might know, but she was not here right now.

@Sains@Chevi

Edited by Atrice
wrong floor... Alexius lives on fourth, not third floor :)
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 “Guilty as charged… it’s not the best, but it’s also not the worst place to live. Actually it’s a very fine insula, I think. Good neighbors too.” 

Well, that was good to hear. A nice insula was a relative term, as Flavia Juliana would no doubt say, but Aia had lived in worse places. And it did seem nice enough.

 “I’m Lucius Antonius Alexius, you can just call me Alexius though. I live on the third floor with my son… which floor are you moving into?” 

"Nice to meet you, Alexius. I'm Aia. And this is Decimus Rutilius Atellus." she smiled, looking up at the building "We are moving to the fourth floor, for now. Might move down lower if another apartment becomes available. Shall we?" she nodded, starting up the stairs, trusting the men to follow. "How long have you been living here?"

@Sains @Atrice

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The guardsman would nod in greeting to Alexius as Aia presented him and wave a hand so as to indicate that he should follow Aia up the stairs while Decimus would follow the both of them. He was quite content to let Aia question the man during their ascent, for he was quite occupied with glancing into the rooms that they passed at each landing. Some doors were open, but most were closed; nevertheless, he couldn't say that what he'd seen so far looked bad

The stairwell was fairly clean, or as clean as one might expect, but what really grabbed him was the mix of aromas that wafted around the building. Of course there was the occasional fowl smelling moment, but these were overshadowed by the lovely aromas of home-cooked meals. Sometimes he heard laughter, other times he'd hear a shout from one of the apartments below, but there was a certain calmness in the chaos. Perhaps he was only idealizing the place, after all they'd only been here for a few minutes. 

One might hope that he wouldn't be called upon to join in on the conversation until they'd reached the room. He'd hate to have to admit that he'd been daydreaming while they were walking up. 

 

@Chevi @Atrice

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Alexius had certainly lived in worse places too, than this insula. He’d also lived in better places – the best probably being the nice domus he lived in, when he served Oriana. Lexus still worked in her garden, but she’d done nothing to reach out to Alexius. He was still feeling a bit weird about that, but life went on and he’d learned by now, that you had to move on and besides, there were plenty of fish in the sea, as they said.

 For now, he was being the friendly neighbor and introduced himself, while they moved inside the building he too lived in. The redhead said her name was Aia and introduced the man too. Like she was the one in charge in this relationship. Maybe she was? That was interesting. Alexius had always admired strong and independent women.

 “Good to meet both of you too.” Alexius replied politely with a smile. Aia explained they were moving into the fourth floor and his smile didn’t fade with that, “Well the further down you get, the more expensive it gets too. And the fourth floor is not too bad.” Alexius said, happy to hear they’d get new neighbors in their own floor. Of course living further down and nearer the street was better, but for now, he and Lexus could not afford that.

 “I’ve been living here uhm… about a year now, I think?” He recalled meeting Didia properly just after the earthquake, but they’d been here a while before that too. He looked at the couple, Alexius was naturally curious about them. He didn’t know if they were married or what, not that it mattered to him, but it might matter to others. It didn’t feel right asking straight away about that though, so he found different words, “Is this your first uhm… place to live together, then?”

@Chevi@Sains

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“Good to meet both of you too.... Well the further down you get, the more expensive it gets too. And the fourth floor is not too bad.” 

It wasn't. The stairwell was kept clean, and the apartment they walked into was similarly decent. Not glamorous, by any stretch of the imagination. A step up from the legion camps, and three steps down from the villa. Sounded about right. "It really isn't" she agreed, looking around with hands on her hips. "We're gonna need a new bed, though."

“I’ve been living here uhm… about a year now, I think?... Is this your first uhm… place to live together, then?”

Aia chuckled, turning back to their new neighbor. She glanced at Decimus, allowing him to attempt an answer to that one.

@Sains @Atrice

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It certainly was a step up from any military camp either of them had lived in during their unique service, though there was some pleasure to be gained from sleeping under the stars. It was one more thing to miss amidst the ceaseless noise and torchlight of the city, but something he'd grown used to by now. He could hardly care what the people who lived on the ground floor were living like; to him the fourth floor would always have a unique spot in his heart. After all, it was his. He didn't have to submit it to an inspection every other day or make sure that it was cleaned to a certain standard (Although he didn't expect Aia would let him off the hook there). He was renting it, sure, but as long as he paid his dues and didn't put a hole through the wall it was their own little slice of Rome.

Taking a moment to admire the contents of the room, bare as they were, he turned to face the two as their conversation drifted towards the topic of their personal arrangement. Admittedly he'd first perked up at the mention of a bed, but that certainly wasn't worth mentioning. "I could probably build one if you gave me enough time; spend less that way."

Keeping their presence here as uninteresting as possible was one of the highest priorities, at least in Decimus's mind, to dealing with any one of their new neighbors. He figured it would be better for the both of them if he were as vague as possible, though he certainly couldn't deny the fact that they were involved with one another. Sure, this 'Alexius' would know their names, but it wasn't as if Claudia would send her agents of the night to beat his door down to try and discover some sort of romantic scandal. 

"We've traveled a lot together, but this is our first time renting. We've probably spent more time around a campfire than a hearth." he'd say, wrapping his arm about her affectionately. 

"I hope I can rely on you to tell us about the area, Alexius. Anything we should know about the other tenants? No screaming babes I hope."

 

@Atrice@Chevi 

 

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He smiled when Aia agreed that the fourth floor wasn’t too bad – well he knew, it was his floor too and he had good neighbors there. So far, Aia and Decimus seemed nice enough too, even if they appeared a bit… cautious? As if this was new territory for them. They all soon arrived at the fourth floor and found the right apartment. Aia looked around and said something about needing a new bed. Alexius arched a brow, they’d need a new bed? So they had a bed before? And either it was now worn to pieces or broken… at least in this case, he could put two and two together, and smiled by the thought.

 Alexius carefully asked into their previous living situation and honestly, their relationship too, but subtly and Aia just chuckled and glanced at Decimus by her side. He seemed kind of… average? But not in a bad way. He did seem really nice. And he looked nice too, just like Aia did. No wonder two good looking people like them found each other somehow!

 Decimus talked about building a bed, of course he did. It dawned on Alexius, that it meant he had a handy guy living nearby then! Decimus then said they’d travelled together, spent time by a campfire, but it was the first time they’d rent something together. A campfire? What did they do before coming here? Interesting! And this was the first place they’d live together. A young couple, just moving in together, in need of a new bed? Not that you needed to be a young and new couple to break a bed, he thought to himself. Alexius would have to tell Didia about this! Now it wouldn’t just be him being noisy, he assumed.

 Then Decimus went on, wanting to know about the area and the other tenants… “No screaming babes on this floor, no… everyone here are quite nice, really. I’m sure you’ll run into them eventually.” Alexius explained. Should he tell them that there could be some noise anyway? It seemed they’d live next to him. No, they’d find out. And maybe they’d just be loud themselves too. It would all be fine. What else?

 “I’m sure they’ll all help you settle in, if you just ask. Else just come knocking on my door, it’s right there.” He pointed down the hallway with a smile.

@Sains@Chevi

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Decimus already had plans to do woodwork. Aia chuckled as her... well, husband, for all intents and purposes, hugged her.

"We've traveled a lot together, but this is our first time renting. We've probably spent more time around a campfire than a hearth."

Well, that was definitely not the most common story. She could see the flash of curiosity in Alexius' eyes. Whatever. If he made trouble, they would deal with it. But the insula did not seem like a place for snobbish people.

"I hope I can rely on you to tell us about the area, Alexius. Anything we should know about the other tenants? No screaming babes I hope."

 “No screaming babes on this floor, no… everyone here are quite nice, really. I’m sure you’ll run into them eventually. I’m sure they’ll all help you settle in, if you just ask. Else just come knocking on my door, it’s right there.” 

"Well, nice to meet you, neighbor" Aia grinned at the man, playing her basket on the table. There was not much in the apartment, but it was theirs. "What do you do for a living, Alexius?"

@Sains @Atrice

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Ultimately Decimus had hoped that his ambiguity would serve them well in the long run. It was not as if it had been a lie, after all, and all it revealed to Alexius was that they were not from the city originally. If Alexius were any more curious about their origins, well, they'd cross that bridge when they came to it. 

As far as Alexius's career were concerned, Decimus already had a few presumptions worked up in his mind. It was definitely something oriented towards heavy labor, (as if that weren't obvious) but something about the way the man carried himself made him guess that it wasn't hauling grain bags around warehouses. He'd seen enough warriors in his time to know that this man had seen some combat in his life. His movements were more intentional than a man used to the brain-dead work of a pack mule. Further than that; the scarring on his body was a clear indicator of some form of abuse, and it wasn't all from whips. They looked like blade cuts, and it was clear they weren't from any boring old butchers shop. 

Nevertheless, he was interested to hear Alexius's response. Perhaps he was a former legion-man. 

 

@Atrice @Chevi

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Alexius definitely would not make any trouble for his new neighbors. He was just curious, but he imagined he’d hear the whole story eventually. They didn’t know him yet, after all. But they would. Aia placed her basket on the table in the half-empty flat and then continued to ask what he did for a living. Decimus seemed to be a man of few words, but he too seemed interested.

“I work as a guard, mostly… wherever I can. Often as a bodyguard, or whenever someone needs something kept safe. It’s what I do and it’s what I like… keeping people safe.” He explained with a smile. He could of course go on and tell the whole story about his past and why he worked with what he did, but that wasn’t what she asked about. If they did, he’d be happy to share, but for now, he chose not to. Again, he imagined it might be nice getting to know them over a jar of wine instead. For now, it seemed they focused on the more basic introductions, so he did that too, “What about you two? What do you work with?”  

@Sains @Chevi

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