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Renovations


Aia
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February 77 CE

Aia surveyed the empty room with hands on her hips. This apartment was only slightly bigger than the one they had been living in (inside the same insula), but it definitely looked to be in better condition. Or it would be, once it had gotten some renovations done. Mainly, painting.

Decimus and Aia had been living together at the insula for almost a year now (whenever Decimus was not staying at the Castra, that is). It was lovely, being together, surrounded by (mostly) friendly neighbors. But now that the opportunity arose to switch to a better apartment, they decided to take it. Moving up in the world, one small step at a time. Some of the neighbors made comments about starting a family, but Aia did not pay them much heed.

The walls of the new apartment were... not in the best condition. The paint was faded and chipped, and the previous owner apparently had a side business as a prostitute, with appropriate yet crude illustrations on one wall, drawn in chalk. Aia tilted her head, trying to make sense of some of them. They would be gone soon; she had the brushes and the whitewash and the paint to cover it all up. And then maybe decorate the walls with something better. Aia had no artistic training or talent whatsoever. But it was bound to be fun to try...

@Sains

 

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Decimus, for his part, stood examining those risqué illustrations and grinning to himself like some kind of school boy. He wasn't the sort of man that would enjoy that kind of thing being marked upon the walls of his home, but he was quite happy to tease his beloved with the prospect. 

"We're keeping this one right? I mean, I think we could even add to it." he'd say, pointing out the rough sketch of a woman's body in a graceless pose over some type of table... or a horse. 

He had no fear for Aia thinking him crude. Where another woman might have known Decimus in a more serious and temperate capacity, Aia had been fully exposed to his taste in humor while they'd been in Britain. Perhaps if he'd known then what he knew now he would have done more to appear stoic and uninterested in that sort of boyish humor, but when one was surrounded by nothing but soldiers all day it was hardly a surprise that most of them devolved to make great fun with little more than chalk and their imaginations. 

For all that their new apartment was a welcome treat. Everything about it could be changed, and it felt more spacious than the last even if that were only marginally true. It was, like most things in their life, a welcome chance to build something from nothing. 

@Chevi

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"Only if we get a matching set for me" Aia grinned at Decimus as he examined the drawing. After all, all of these crude images were about what men wanted women to do for them, like a menu you just pointed at... if they were going to play this game fair (which, let's face it, most Romans didn't), then she'd need her own menu to match.

She picked up one of the large brushes and dipped it in the whitewash. "We got to start somewhere right?"

@Sains

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For a moment Decimus thought of asking what might be on her 'matching set', though he knew a few of the answers quite well already. Or at least he liked to think he did. Aia was, after all, a constant and unrelenting source of surprises. 

"Aye. Lets set about it before you get any terrible ideas. I know how susceptible you are to... imagery.

A flash of a smirk would probably be all that she'd see before he grabbed a brush of his own and walked off to the corner to begin. Painting was relaxing if not a little boring. It was therapeutic to wash away the dirt and degeneration in a sea of white paint. Bent over figure? Gone. A claim to grand exploits from a man named Lalagus? Erased! This might take them a few hours... 

 

@Chevi

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"Only when the imagery is pleasant" she grinned, winking at him as they both got to work with the brushes. Most of this imagery decidedly was not. They worked side by side to make it all disappear. The walls needed thorough painting, but the apartment would be good as new soon. "I think I like this place" Aia noted, glancing around as she took a break to breathe. "It's bigger... more space. To have... people over" she noted. And to live, in general. "I wish you could live here all the time. I bet the Castra is not this nice."

@Sains

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"Well, I hope you like it. We paid for it.", he'd say with a smirk between strokes. 

It was certainly a bit larger than what they'd had in the beginning. It was cathartic in some ways as well. Even if they'd only moved because of the fact that this spot had opened up and they weren't necessarily better off than they had been before, it was nice to feel like you were moving up in the world. Money, thankfully, was not an issue that truly seemed to touch them as much as it could. For his part Decimus received far better pay than he ever had in the Legion, and there was no question of him ever being removed from this post. Likewise Aia's skills would always be in demand by well-to-dos with need of a tutor. 

"Maybe I should just tell them I'm moving out. I don't think we're far enough away that it would be a problem, and I've been in for a while now."

Leaving wasn't really something he'd considered. In fact, he'd just believed that he had to stay in the Castra in case he was needed. And, while this certainly would be true with any lower ranking or inexperienced soldier, he could always be sent for. At any rate he could always ask his friends in high places to give him a little leeway. 

"It would be nice to actually start living in one place for a change... Though I'm sure you enjoy your privacy when I'm out fighting off boredom." 

 

@Chevi

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Aia and Decimus were living in an in-between place; not married but not alone, and not together all the time but also sharing an apartment. Being in-between things suited Aia just fine; she had been used to it her entire life. She didn't care how it happened, as long as she could be with Decimus. But with the new apartment, thoughts of a different kind of life were also beginning to emerge.

"Maybe I should just tell them I'm moving out. I don't think we're far enough away that it would be a problem, and I've been in for a while now."

"Maybe you could?" she ventured, glancing at him as she worked. She still didn't know how they would react. Decimus being of a higher rank could be an advantage or a disadvantage in this case...

"It would be nice to actually start living in one place for a change... Though I'm sure you enjoy your privacy when I'm out fighting off boredom." 

"Oh, sure. That's when my other lover comes to visit." Aia grinned at him. "Gotta make time, I'm a busy woman. Don't know what I'll do if you are around all the time."

@Sains

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