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A Twist in Time.

Discussion in 'Mixed-genre & Uncategorized' started by MJK2431, Feb 13, 2018.

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  1. Zul'Zae'ju'Jin

    Zul'Zae'ju'Jin the Hugger Troll

    Kaeso opened his eyes and glanced as a male voice responded to his greeting and saw it was the one that had brought in the food and drink the night before. There was something about the man that was setting off his gut and he wasn't sure what it was yet. He knew however that there was much here that he would not know. This wasn't his home and he was but a stranger to the servants. A stranger that had been foisted upon them by the letter bearer. He noted a hesitancy in referring to him as a master though Kaeso didn't really feel it and there was no subserviant attitude to the man.

    He remained quiet for a moment before he turned to face the man properly. Kaeso wasn't someone who was mean to anyone less than himself. Not unless he had to be. He was about to say it was in his satchel but realised if he let the man rifle through it, he would find something none of them could know about. He frowned slightly before he cleared his throat, "I'll forward you the details later, Markus, but from what I was able to glance briefly at, you'll have enough to get what you need for the house."

    The soldier blinked when the woman suddenly appeared and spoke, giving out orders for the other. He smiled slightly with bemusement as he watched her leave. It was then he realised what she had said and internally he winced. Social parties were never something he found a strength in. He did not know any of the current gossip and he knew he would be the proverbial fish out of water.

    He looked back at Markus and raised a brow when he saw the man's lower jaw hang lower before beating a hasty retreat. Kaeso's gaze turned to where the slave had been looking and he realised why. She looked quite the picture and she looked dressed to impress. He offered her a smile and inclined his head to her.

    "Good morning. Me? Like a baby? How about you?"
    he asked feeling it wouldn't be quite so easy for her. All soldiers learned quickly to grab sleep quickly as soon as they could afford the time for it. He shook his head, "No... it would have been odd me returning in it anyway given the, uh, trip here," he stated, referring to the cover story more than the jump through a portal from the future. "And you don't have to. It comes out of my pay... If I go back to my job at all. Given what was said at that clerk's yesterday... I imagine I'll find out soon enough,"

    "Sides, I can only get most of it from the Quartermaster and my current one is somewhere in Britannia. I'll head to the Legion barracks up on the Quirinal... See what I can get for myself there but ah, men only, I'm afraid," he replied.

    "Seems they're already planning a welcome back home party..."
    he said peering the way the older woman had gone before looking back to Valeria, shifting his belt slightly.
     
  2. MJK2431

    MJK2431 ✿❀❁

    "Sleep was not fantastic if I'm honest. Almost broke a leg just trying to find the bed in the dark last night."

    Valerie's face dropped a little at his mention of only being able to get armor elsewhere. Most likely, the only means she had thought of thus far to at least try and pay him back for what was happening at the moment had failed and she now felt a little sheepish. She chewed on her bottom lip, blushing slightly at his mention of only the men being allowed in the barracks if he were to use that route to get his armor. "Only men? Right...I forgot that rules like that apply in this...ah...place." She looked around, saying softly "Care to walk in the gardens with me, or perhaps to the market? I feel myself quite in need of conversation after the dramatic events of last night. Aquila going to fetch water has been the first breath of freedom for me all morning. She was attempting to settle me in to my 'normal' life from the moment my eyes opened."

    Once they were outside, the girl stopping by the door to pull on a pair of leather sandals, she spoke again. "I don't remember if I told you this, but back in my time woman were as equal to men in the army. They stayed in the same barracks sometimes even. Used the same weaponary, ate the same food together. Dressed the same as well. Must be a strange thing to think about for you. Almost wish I'd learned to wield a sword or a gun when I could, now that I know I won't be able to." She chuckled sadly at the thought, brushing the plait the housekeeper had made over her shoulder. A thought dawned on her, the girl looking up with a little excitement. "If I can't get you your armor back, can I pay for a weapon for you to have in the meantime, even a small dagger? I remember how you clutched to your sword sheath when you first arrived back in my time...it was like your life depended on it. I guess from your perspective back then it did."

    She walked along the nearest path, brushing her fingers along a bougainvillea hedge. The gardens had been well kept during the families absence, weeds only just visible poking out between the cobblestones of the pathway. Valerie stopped at a tall fig tree near the path they had walked on the day before to get to the house, the gravel one which led to the nearest road. "A party? Seriously? I don't even know how to do my own hair or even dress myself beyond the abilities a small child has and now I'm going to need to entertain people I do not know. Hopefully Aquila will do most of the organizing. You'll be there, right?" She turned to him, the lapis lazuli pendants hanging on either side of her face swaying with the movement. Her eyes held a hopeful gaze, the girl at a loss for what she might do if she didn't have some sort of guide with her.
     
  3. Zul'Zae'ju'Jin

    Zul'Zae'ju'Jin the Hugger Troll

    He winced, "I'm glad you didn't." Broken bones were not a fun thing to have to wait through the healing. He quietly enjoyed the breeze coming in from the open aperture as he looked at her. He gained the feeling that seeing him get his armour was something she had been wanting to do. Kaeso gave her an apologetic look, "Sorry," he reached up, scratching the nape of his neck lightly before dropping his hand. From what Valerie was saying, 'Aquila' was already giving her no privacy. He winced, privacy was not a frequent thing in his society.

    "I'd like that... I could do with the exercise,"
    he nodded and turned, joining her by her side as they walked away from the nice breeze. He waited as she pulled her shoes on, "Well, you have been thrown into a deep end and I get the feeling she's the main house woman for this villa. She certainly sounds like she knows what to do, what she wants and how to get the work done..." he breathed.

    He kept to her pace as they headed into the garden and he noted how well tended it was. Nothing was out of place and he knew whoever had designed it had good taste. It was something else he could never have expected to see or have for himself at all. Not on what he earned. Whatever he earned per month went to savings, his father, booze and women when he was of a mood. He glanced at Valerie and listened to her speak, enjoying the cadence of her voice, "Really? Some things really change a lot..." he mused aloud.

    Looking at her, he realised there was a tinge of regret in her voice and he wondered how much of that involved not being able to fend off Hugo or his two thugs. He couldn't imagine not being able to defend himself but as her time had proved there were ways of getting round that. She soon brightened up and regaled him with of how he had appeared when they had first met. He gave a deep chuckle and rubbed his face as he grinned. He recalled his feelings from that day and nodded. The Centurion had felt incredibly threatened and the sword was the first port of call for a soldier's protection.

    "I've been exposed to two very different and threatening Britannia's... Though I am glad for the second even if it did give me a fright for my existence. I made a new friend instead that day instead of meeting a native's axe in my body," he nodded.

    He followed her, watching as her fingers played with purple flowers and smiled. It was a simple thing, a walk through greenery and flowers but he appreciated it much as he had when they had shared a walk through the park. The worry returned and he was equally sharing in the same fears.

    "I think it would be very remiss if I wasn't. I'm supposed to be your... hm... saviour after all. I don't plan on leaving you alone. The letter pretty much says that's my responsibility now... even if its meaning is rather ambiguous..." he frowned slightly before he moved to a stone bench and sat down.

    "Truth is you might have to save money on the weapon and get me something proper to wear. I... I'm in the same boat here. It's not a world I'm used to.. Parties, socialising... I do mine with the lads at the tavern or the rare occasion when an Officer pulls a function and even then that's filled with like minded people. The parties here are a lot more... political." He looked at her and smiled somehow unafraid to admit his fears to her. "Truth is, if given the choice of partying and fighting an enemy... I'd take the enemy."

    He smiled, "We shall brave it together, Valerie."
     
  4. MJK2431

    MJK2431 ✿❀❁

    The news that he would indeed be joining her for whatever occasion Aquila was putting together made Valerie feel a little more confident, the girl taking a seat beside him on the stone bench. The coolness of the rock contrasted with the warm breeze stirring around them, the female closing her eyes for a second and just taking it all in. The air here was cleaner and fresher than that back home. Things in this time were different, but she was doing her best to find as much as good as she could.

    "I don't know her very well, but I don't think Aquila is going to be taking it kindly the fact that you are now going to be...ah...looking after me. From all her doting on me, I think she's used to having a lot of say in what I do and don't do. That letter changes things, makes her responsibilities different. I don't think she likes that." She looked down to her toes, wriggling them slightly in the soft-worn leather sandals. "I don't mind though. I'd rather have you than her. She's basically a stranger to me. I guess though, my situation with her is not much different than yours was with me when you first arrive. I'm understanding first hand now how you must have felt...having someone watch out for you who knows more about what is supposed to be happening in that time than you do."

    Valerie chuckled at his mention of tavern visits being his ideas of socializing. She dragged in a breath through her nose at that, then said "You and I are the same in that regard. Except, we call them bars and pubs in my time. I think the fanciest party I've ever been to was a Christmas party at the university for the staff and postgraduates. What do you mean when you say they're political?" Her curiosity had piqued, the female straightening somewhat. She had become gifted at wording her sentences carefully around Shane and at work, but this sort of environment outside of discussions in the realm of science was different. She was not well-trained in the art of politics and making sure to play nice and not step on important people's toes.

    His promise to help her through it though relieved her, even if only a little. She placed a hand on his shoulder, smiling and said softly "I think having you there might be the only thing to make it bearable. At least if I mess up, I'll have someone to back me up." She removed her hand, standing and adding "If the party needs to be thrown as early as tomorrow, perhaps we should go back into town to find you something to wear? I think tomorrow will be spent preparing everything so we might not have the time. I get the feeling that party preparation takes much longer when you don't have catering services to do it for you like we have back in my time."

    _______________________________________________________________________________________________

    Meanwhile, a small distance away, Aquila was wringing water out of the end of her tunic after spilling the old water from the jug she had been carrying. Persephone sat opposite her, leaning over the edge of the water fountain to carefully tip the opening of her own jug under the water's surface. "She's back? After four years? They God's must favor her dearly. My Master Cassius is going to be thrilled when he finds out. You said she plans to have the party tomorrow?" Aquila nodded her head quickly, copying the other slave in her technique to gather water from the fountain. "Yes, yes she is. I wish I could be there to see Cassius' face...I'd actually pay to get to see his son, Magnus' expression though when his father passes the news on to him. You know what the gossip was a few months before she left right?"

    Persephone tilted the jug up, looking at Aquila with wide eyes. "I did indeed! Will make for an interesting evening tomorrow. Very much so indeed." Aquila gave her friend a wry smile, whispering under her breath "What will make it more interesting is the presence of that Centurion. The letter, the one I told you about earlier which he brought with was rather wrought with ambiguity if I say so myself. God's only knows what might happen if Magnus still has the expectations he had four years ago. " The pair laughed together, Aquila standing and resting the jug under her shoulder. "I guess I'll see you tomorrow then...perhaps even tomorrow evening if Master Cassius requires some assistant to help him fetch him drinks until he's red in the face." Persephone rolled her eyes, standing too. "Don't remind me! I'll see you tomorrow though, my friend."

    Aquila made her way back to the villa, spotting Valeria and Kaeso under the tree. Her mouth twisted into a small lopsided grin. "It will be an interesting night indeed...."
     
  5. Zul'Zae'ju'Jin

    Zul'Zae'ju'Jin the Hugger Troll

    He listened and knew it was likely that he was going to have to speak with Aquila. He didn't want her to feel like he was replacing her. Far from it, he had no idea how to run a house hold. He had been away in the army for far too long to know how to do such an effort. No, he would need Aquila and he would need her to be on board with him.

    Kaeso looked at her and smiled, it had been strange to be cared and provided for in a strange place where the rules were different. She had cared for him in her time, knowing he did not know the first bit of how to behave or respond. He would be doing the same for her now.

    "I'm not leaving you to fend for yourself, Valerie. She might be a bit... hm, overbearing but she has her place. She seems to think you're who we're saying you are and that's a good thing. Last thing we need is someone questioning it. We need to make a friend of her and the others," he breathed out his concerns that someone would know and learn the truth.

    It was good to hear her laugh. It was refreshing in most ways and doubled as a reminded that he was not here alone with no one to turn to. He blinked and frowned, "Christmas?" he didn't know what that was but he figured it was some sort of important event.

    "Oh, the usual gossip... There's a lot of power play and manoeuvring involved. Life's simple for a soldier, we have the advantage of a routine, orders, meeting our enemy in the eye. In these parties, there's no sense of that. Take two Lanistas... they would attend a party with intent on trying to get their gladiators to be in the best fights. Usually they want to gain the prestige and honour of having the Primus. They have to vie for it with the one holding the games. Usually a magistrate of some kind or the emperor. It's a battle of wit and wordsmithing that I can't compete with,"

    Kaeso looked at her at the gentle touch and smiled, "We're in this together. Come what may." He would keep his word to that. His head rose when she stood and he nodded. He would be glad just to get away from the house for a while. It would have been a lot more appropriate for a tailor to have come to the house but it was all very stifling and he was likely going to be embarrassed enough about needing to get one for him let alone doing it in the house where the slaves would see him. He didn't care what they thought but it was the gossip they could be prone to.

    He rose and nodded, "It can take a fair while. I imagine Aquila will be something of a helping hand if you let her. I have no idea myself." He wished he could be a little more useful in that but they would have to take each day as it came for a little while yet at least. "Well, I'll just give Marcus what he needs and then we can set off," he smiled.
     
  6. MJK2431

    MJK2431 ✿❀❁

    She knew he was concerned about someone finding them out. It was a fear that was constantly at the back of her own mind. The only thing that really made things any better was that if something had to come out, she knew Kaeso would have her back. At least, she could only really hope for that. There was nothing else really she could do. "Christmas. It's a Christian holiday, although most people in my time don't really treat it as one. Just a day when people exchange gifts, eat good food and generally enjoy the company of loved ones. It's not something that will come about for some time in this world. I think it's one of the things I'm going to miss."

    He spoke next of the politics she might have to handle. The possible situations he proposed made her more worried about the party, the girl silently vowing to herself that she would think twice before opening her mouth and saying anything to anyone. "I'm not used to needing to compete in verbal conflicts in order to get what I want. If I have no father or husband to speak for me, does that still mean that I need to be the type of 'seen and not heard' woman? Or am I supposed to engage in conversation because I am now the Domina and the host of this party? I am unsure what sort of role females my age play in parties like this."

    Marcus toted down the road as they spoke and walked, the large man holding a hefty bag of rye flour over one shoulder while in his other arm he held a tall clay carafe used to hold wine. When he spotted the pair of them walking along, he quickened his pace to catch up with them. Aquila was not far off in the distance, taking a branch off of the main path to get to the house quicker while carrying the heavy water. Marcus unloaded his items, straightening and inclining his head towards Valerie first and then to Kaeso. "I have some flour for bread tonight and to bake tomorrow, my lady." He looked between the two of them and then back over his shoulder to see the direction they were headed in. "Are you heading into town? My, ah responsibility when you were younger was to escort you and ensure you did not carry anything heavy. Your father and mother usually had business to attend to during the day and Aquila needed to stay here to prepare meals and make sure the cleaning was done....if you wait a while for me to put these items down in the villa I can still do that."

    He looked in Kaeso's direction for a moment, his expression unreadable as he added "Although, perhaps you no longer need the assistance? Would you still wish me to accompany you?" He placed his hands on his hips, looking between Valerie and Kaeso to get their decision on the matter.
     
  7. Zul'Zae'ju'Jin

    Zul'Zae'ju'Jin the Hugger Troll

    A holiday... Well, that was good to know even if he did not know what it stood for or even realised that it was a holiday that had replaced that of a Roman holiday. She seemed regretful about it however and he gave an apologetic shrug in return. "I'm sorry... though there's a fair few Roman celebrations throughout our year that could take it's place. There's pretty much a festival each month," he replied hoping that would improve her mood a little knowing they would equally be something no other person of her time would have experienced. He supposed if they had tried to throw one in her time, it would be but pale reflection.

    "Uh," he muttered and reflected a moment as to her inquiry before shaking his head slightly, "I doubt it. You're the Domina... Women of high status usually have a political opinion to share. I don't know how well read up on my people's history you are of current events... but if you have that knowledge, it might help you survive the lion's den. Women can't hold fields of office... but if i know anything, they certainly speak through their man... often steering said husband from the shadow. House wise... you're its Domina and there's no Dominus to stand in your way."

    "I might bear responsibility for your care, but you're a woman grown and my friend. I can only advise you in that court," he said, not entirely comfortable with the command of the letter by her faux father, but it did mean they would not find themselves separated and in turn she would not be dumped into a deep end full of sharks.

    He heard footfalls that were quickening in pace behind them before slowing down. The soldier turned, slowing down to pause and let the man catch his breath. Marcus spoke and revealed his past role in the household when there had been a little girl running about to keep him occupied. If there was anyone they would need to get on their side and gain a trust of, it was the house staff. They might be slaves but Kaeso knew too damned well how loose lips from a household could ruin a man. He had seen it happen before. Others knew this and ran their house accordingly. Some rules through fear though it largely depended on the profession but most were often kind to their slaves.

    "It's up to my lady to decide... but I do not deny the added protection would be acceptable," he replied. It would make talking a lot more difficult but equally if people were running loose with rumours about the return of Corvinus' daughter, then he anticipated that it could stir old rivalries, jealousies or other malicious intent. He did not wish that upon his friend. he eyed Marcus over with a trained eye of one used to sizing up soldiers and noted that Marcus was a decent build. He looked strong and quick but there was nothing that immediately screamed military whereas Kaeso knew he did. He glanced to Valerie before peering back to Marcus.

    "If anything, we can sort out those funds along the way. Kill two birds with one stone, as it were," he added to show Marcus that he had not forgotten their prior conversation that morning.
     
  8. MJK2431

    MJK2431 ✿❀❁

    Valerie looked back and forth between Marcus and Kaeso before finding that Kaeso was going to leave the decision up to her. She mumbled about for a moment, her mouth opening and closing like a fish in water. You're the Domina. Act like it. Straighten your shoulders and make the decision confidently. Act as if it was Shane you were talking to...confident, but polite and humble. Valerie chided herself in her thoughts, although did as she had instructed herself to do. Her frame straightened, the girl looking at Marcus and replying with "Well, I may have lost my memories but I see no need to deprive you of a routine that the household seems to abide by. Your company would be welcome."

    Marcus' face blanked for a moment as she admitted to having lost her memories. The unveiled shock and strangely...disappointment and sadness passed over his face before his mostly emotionless expression returned. However, he did not comment on it. "Alright then. I'll be right back." He hurried along, dropping off the items he had been carrying at the house before returning them, taking the side just to the right but a little behind Valerie as they continued walking. Valerie, unused to needing to talk to someone over her shoulder, purposefully slowed her pace so that he was more in line with her and Kaeso. "Marcus, what place can we go to for buying clothes suitable of a welcome back party? I, um, don't quite remember my way around. Even if I did, I think Roma has changed while I've been away." Valerie walked with her arms in front of her, glancing at Kaeso with a small smile before looking back to Marcus.

    "My lady..." Valerie cringed at the title, covering it up by rolling her shoulders as if trying to loosen them up. "I think there is still a store that sells items imported from Egypt, Greece and Persia as well as jewelry, dyes and perfumed oils. It's located on the main street, I pass it on the way to purchase fruit and pottery when Aquila requests it." The three of them headed in that direction, Valerie not speeding up or slowing down to the point where Marcus would be out of place. The man did not seem uncomfortable by the position, but noticeably spent some of his time looking around as they travelled as well as keeping his hand at a certain position at his side. He spoke to Marcus, clearing his throat as they entered the main street Valerie and Kaeso had been on the day before. "Master, how would you wish to distribute the funds? Before, the Dominus would give me a weekly list and the required budget with which to purchase everything."

    A movement caught the man's eye, Marcus peering into a nearby alley before shaking his head and returning his attention to Kaeso. They approached the store, Valerie stopping on the steps leading inside before peering into the interior to ensure it was the correct place.
     

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