Nasir lies in wait for Agron in a cross-corridor, not far from where they left Mira. His sudden pounce catches Agron off-guard. There’s a quick glimpse of flushed face, a huff of startled breath when he presses a kiss against Agron’s open mouth. Hands settle on his ribs to pull him closer, but Nasir steps back, grinning at the dazed protest on Agron’s face. He hooks his fingers around the supple leather of Agron’s chest strap and tugs.
“Let us remove ourselves from further interruptions or prying eyes,” he suggests, his voice dropped low, and then steps backwards with a steady pull on the strap.
Agron’s gaze clears a bit, and he grins back. He follows willingly, letting Nasir drag him into the blanket-draped alcove of his former sickroom. It’s tiny and smells of salves and bitter herb, but there are four walls, a curtain draped across the door, and a bed, which is all Nasir cares about.
Agron crowds against him as soon as the tattered drape falls behind them, hands fumbling a bit as he slides them down Nasir’s neck to cup his shoulder blades beneath his cloak. The thin garment slips down his shoulders, catching above his elbows. Agron grabs fistfuls of it and pulls him close to kiss him greedily, too eager for finesse. Nasir returns it fiercely, tangling his tongue with Agron’s, and splays his fingers wide against the firm planes of his back. His tugging motion brings them into flush alignment and he notes with some relief that he is not the only one whose breathing stops and catches, unsettled by the pump of his impassioned blood.
Agron’s chest presses against his when he drags his mouth from Nasir’s to follow the lines of his cheekbone and his temple, into his hair and around the sensitive shell of his ear. Nasir shudders in response and feels the answering shape of Agron’s smile against his skin, tongue tracing the ridge and whorls. He smiles too. It’s good to laugh together, to know they’re equally swept away by the rising heat between them.
His cloak still traps his arms. Nasir twists them, impatient with the thin protection of its fabric, and shrugs it off to puddle on the ground. Agron’s hands clench for a second with bruising force on his bared shoulders. Then they relax, smoothing down his arms and then back up in a more leisurely caress, fingers just a little unsteady. It’s a small shift, nearly imperceptible, the customary sword grip of a warrior’s hands consciously gentled, but there is meaning in it, to one who has watched and learned the language of this warrior’s body for weeks.
Nasir is learning, whenever he sees Agron stride about the camp offering instruction, rough jokes, insults – and blows, regularly, to the Gauls – that Spartacus’s general is not quite the same man who lays warm hands and a warmer smile upon him. There is a conflict there that intrigues him: a sharp edge where something has been cut from Agron, the jagged gap still bleeding. He suspects the dead brother, a topic Agron has not broached with him since that fateful night when Nasir’s life was first shattered and reformed. One day soon he will place his hands upon the edges and attempt if they might be pulled together, with talk or the warmth of affection; whether the man he takes merciless weaponry instruction from and the one who trails hot kisses across his lips cannot be shaped into a whole in all aspects of his being.
For now, though, all he can give to mend the wound is himself, and even that’s a thing he never dreamed might be his own to offer.
“Mira proves treasured ally,” he murmurs between kisses. Agron’s lips, hot against his own, curve in agreement.
“Sent by the gods,” he replies, a little short of breath. His hands are busy at Nasir’s waist, loosening the simple string that holds his trousers. Nasir steps free of them impatiently, reaching for Agron’s leather belt to return the favour, but Agron steps back of a sudden, taking him in head to toe with desire blazing in his eyes.
“Jupiter’s cock,” he breathes, “I knew you’d be beautiful all over, but you stand beyond compare.”
For a brief moment, Nasir freezes, the momentum of his passion halted by the frank compliment. It shouldn’t give him pause. He’s been told often that he’s lovely, by appraising eyes and half-dismissive statement, fingers exploring his face or body in passing, measuring his worth in the arrangement of his limbs and face and colouring.
All those times, though, such praise was targeted more keenly at the owner of his flesh. An off-hand comment here or there, assessing the pleasing features of a priced possession. It was a thing learned early on, that beauty is a mere commodity and not his own to barter. He has come, on occasion, to regret possessing it, and the attentions it attracted.
This is different: this visceral regard meant only for himself, blatant admiration without cultured artifice. He should accept this. He can accept this.
Agron is staring at him still, unaware of his momentary unease. This is different, Nasir reminds himself. He lifts his chin and smiles.
“I stand at disadvantage,” he says, roughly, to cover his turmoil, and reaches for Agron’s belt. Agron does not resist, his fingers aiding Nasir’s in undoing the belt, the buckle and strap across his chest, and then the wrap of his leather sheath and subligaria. Close enough to touch, Nasir withholds himself only to take in the long elegant lines of the man, endless legs joining sharp hips to travel up muscled torso and wide shoulders.
Nasir’s turn to stare, to allow his eyes to feast. Agron’s gaze darkens under his scrutiny. His cock juts proudly, darkened with swelling need, and visibly hardening further as Nasir looks his fill. His arms hang loose, though his fingers curl and uncurl reflexively, poised as if he’d wait forever; as if he’d die under the strain of holding out for permission to touch. Nasir reaches to stroke his chest, drawing his fingertips across hot skin. The hidden thud of Agron’s heart under his palm beats fast and strong. His fingers travel across the pucker of scars old and new, and he promises himself he’ll learn the story of every one; memorise the shape of each in the knowledge that this is a mark taken in the cheating of death, and therefore treasured. He spreads and tightens his hands into a firmer grip around Agron’s flanks, pulling himself nearer to that pale, scarred flesh, closing the space between them.
It still feels odd to choose. To be not only allowed but expected to shape his own purpose every day, in little things and large. Who to fight for. Who to break words or take meals with. Who to fuck.
It’s almost harder to adapt with his body than with his mind. His mind he’s always known to be his own, held close and private when he was still Tiberius, guarded even with the few friends he could claim among the household. A man may own a slave but by treating him as chattel, a material possession only, he forfeits any claim to the mind and heart and spirit whose very existence he deigns not to acknowledge. For almost all his life, Nasir has practised protecting his thoughts and feelings like the name that was once his own, buried deep and safe but never forgotten.
By contrast, Nasir is used to knowing his body is not his own, just flesh that can be taken, arranged to a master’s best liking, commanded to do this or that. Fetch wine. Get on your knees and open mouth. Fuck that one, or that one, or dominus. Spread cheeks for honoured guest.
It’s easy to choose Agron with his mind and soul. Easy to be intrigued by the sheer force of the man, to peel back the layers of loud angry bluster and cup his hands around the generous beating heart beneath.
He’s found it harder to come to terms with the freedom of his body, to give free rein to the spark of awareness that heats his face and his loins when Agron smiles at him, or even when Nasir watches him unawares: the roll of powerful muscles under sweat-slick skin as he instructs the freed slaves in the art of fighting, the bunching of his buttocks as he leaps high and turns to strike, the deadly grace of his long limbs.
Nasir has never had the leisure of gazing upon a person and thinking to himself, I want you. He’s learned from a young age that arousal is a thing to be learned, to school to quick response lest its absence draw anger from a master when not available upon request. Lower your lashes, gaze up below them, like so, like you are shy. Lick your lips. Work your cock hard. Smile when they say you are pretty. Obey command.
He isn’t used to telling his body, Do as you wish. He isn’t used to his belly tightening with desire at the sensation of nothing more than hands framing his face, nothing more than the curve of a smile on the warm lips that cover his.
He isn’t used to it, but he’ll be damned if he lets that stop him.
He takes another deep, shaky breath and slides his hands down, tracing the tautening muscles of Agron’s stomach and then lower, between his legs, measuring the length and thickness of him with fingers steadier than he feels.
“You are quite pleasing to the eye, yourself,” he manages, voice roughened with arousal. He leans close, inhales deeply of the scent of Agron’s neck. “Place hands upon me,” he demands, close to the soft lobe of his ear.
Agron quickens under his touch, a sudden charge that leaps between them. Hands flex and grip upon his hip bones, thumbs smoothing down the groove of his loins; his lips slide against Nasir’s and then lower, warm and wet against his jawline.
“You set easy challenge,” Agron says, half-laughing, into the dip beneath his throat. He has to bend and tilt his head awkwardly to kiss a hot trail along Nasir’s collar bone; the motion takes his torso further from Nasir’s reach. Nasir growls and pushes after him, until the edge of the bed hits the back of Agron’s thighs. Agron sits abruptly, tugging Nasir with him, into the space between his sprawling legs. He takes advantage of the height adjustment to tilt his head lower still, tongue licking rough and hot across Nasir’s left nipple. Nasir exhales sharply at the spark of wet heat that shoots straight to his groin. Agron chuckles at his response; replaces mouth with calloused fingers and half-licks, half-nips his way across Nasir’s chest to close his lips around the other nipple, sucking hard. Nasir hisses. His fingers tighten reflexively as he works his hands up and down Agron’s cock, thumb brushing at the head to entice the slick spread of wetness across the sensitive crown. His own cock twitches in response to Agron’s throaty curse and he shoves it forward between Agron’s thighs. This time, they moan together when their cocks slick up against each other, hardness to hardness. Agron abandons his nipples and his mouth surges up to meet Nasir’s, hungry tongue inside his lips while his hips push up for more contact.
Nasir puts his hands on Agron’s shoulders and shoves, hard. Laughing, they topple back onto the narrow bed in a sudden graceless tumble, both of them giddy with desire and the unexpected leisure to pursue it. Agron bunches under him, long legs tangling with his own, hands greedily mapping Nasir’s face, his shoulders, back and thighs. They hesitate against his flank, fingertips barely brushing healing flesh.
“Your wound. You are certain…?”
Nasir rolls his hips in answer, cherishing the groan from Agron’s lips when his swollen cock draws a damp trail against Agron’s muscled thigh.
“I am healed well enough.”
He recalls all too well the agonised period between now and when he first felt Agron’s lips upon his own, the soft-mouthed dedication stating without words, I want you. They’ve waited, both of them, shackled by outside obligations, and healing wounds, and yes, the novelty of choice. He is quite sick of waiting.
“I’ve longed,” he adds, throaty and low against Agron’s open mouth, “to see you bared to my gaze. To have your cock in my hands.”
He tightens his grip to make his point, his other hand reaching lower to fondle Agron’s balls. Agron thrusts up with a hoarse, needy noise. His hands clamp on Nasir’s hips and Nasir finds their positions suddenly reversed, with a brief flash of Agron’s flushed face as he rolls to get on top of him. Then he lowers his eyes and his lips, puckering Nasir’s nipples with rough, urgent kisses before exploring lower, shaping his ribs with damp lips, following the contours of his belly button and his heaving stomach.
Nasir bites his lip when he feels that wet eager mouth nuzzle against his groin, tracing the length of his taut cock. He spreads his legs in wanton invitation, calves hooking around Agron’s back to draw him closer.
Agron breathes out, a tantalising gust of damp air against Nasir’s twitching flesh. “I knew your cock would be as pretty as the rest of you,” he murmurs, rough-voiced, then licks a searing broad swipe up the length of him. Nasir can’t help it: he cries out, bucking up for more. Agron gives him more. He seals hungry lips around the head of his cock, slides down the length of him in gloriously tight, wet heat, and Nasir digs his hands into the tangled blankets and gasps, his every inch on fire.
He’d draw it out and have it last, but everything is too sudden and hard and immediate and it feels like he’s waited for this forever, in sweaty healing dreams and the too-brief encounters between days of anxious waiting, whenever the heated reality of Agron’s body and fierce affection pressed close but were too quickly swept away on yet another mission.
He has no stamina saved up to wait, not when Agron devours him like this, taking him deep into his mouth and sucking fiercely. His head bobs as he works his lips up and down, driving Nasir crazy with the swirling lick of his tongue and just the barest hint of teeth. Nasir’s vision blurs. He gropes for Agron’s hair, but finds it too short to get a grip on. “Agron,” he groans, not sure whether he wants to plead for more or warn of his imminent release. Before he can make up his mind, Agron’s mouth tightens and surges forward, taking him all the way into his throat, his nose pressed close into the sweat-damp curls at Nasir’s groin. He feels his neck arch and comes helplessly and silently, gasping for air, emptying himself into that greedy mouth.
Nasir resurfaces when Agron’s lips seek his. His mouth is soft and swollen, wet with Nasir’s spilled seed. “You taste like nectar of the gods,” he murmurs, placing damp kisses along Nasir’s bottom lip. “I’d drink of you again and again, and never reach my fill.”
Nasir smiles shakily and reaches down. Agron is hard still, his pulsing cock leaking against Nasir’s belly. He wraps a hand around it, enjoying the heft and impatient throb of it, the knowledge that it rose and swelled only for him. He lifts his head to kiss Agron lazily, sucking his bottom lip inside his mouth and chasing the tang of his own spent desire. “Passion must fog your taste for drink,” he teases, but Agron only grins back and moves his knee between Nasir’s thighs, rubbing high and slow and warm against his balls until the friction sets his spent cock to twitching, almost too soon and almost painful but not quite.
“You drive me mad,” Agron says against his lips, eyes searching Nasir’s face with blatant hunger. “Let me come for you.” There’s something moving about the frank words, his unafraid admission. Nasir isn’t sure he could bare his needs so freely, not just yet.
He sucks in a breath. “How do you want me?” He says it almost reflexively and immediately curses himself for slipping back into familiar patterns, seeking instruction as a matter of course. He tenses, caught unawares between his old life and the new.
But Agron only shrugs, a liquid ripple of powerful shoulders under Nasir’s suddenly stilled hands. His smile is strained by passion only, Nasir thinks, not recognition of his plight. It makes his words the more treasured. “I leave choice to you.”
His hesitation is not due to lack of will, only that still-startling freedom of decision. How strange, to have the leisure of choice – not bestowed by his lover, either, but his already, taken as read: the power to share his body with another of his own free will.
“My dominus preferred to have me fuck him.” Nasir’s mouth quirks, trying to make a joke of it. “His cock had… trouble seeing his purpose to desired end.”
Agron brushes a sweaty strand of hair back from Nasir’s temple. “And what do you prefer?”
A simple question, asked pragmatically, though Agron is breathing hard. Nasir looks at him, tracing the lines of his face, desire held in check but aching in every line of him. He gives him a smile, feeling it break across his face like sunrise, and admits the truth. “I don’t know.”
Agron looks a little stunned. There’s a tint of green to his blue eyes, Nasir notes in the candlelight, lending his gaze a look of water: sea foam, or northern rivers bordered by grass on sunny days. He loves to discover these things, still fresh to his eyes and memory, his own to put away and hoard against a darker day.
He makes up his mind, then, presses himself close against Agron, against his lips, his hands, the sweat-slick heat of his body. It doesn’t truly matter what he chooses – anything he picks will be a choice of his own, and that’s enough. He goes with what his body wants just now, delighting in the luxury to indulge it.
“I’d have you take me,” he murmurs into Agron’s mouth, and smiles again at the jolt of attention in the tall body curled on top of his. “I’d see you lose yourself inside my body.”
He feels almost giddy with the pleasure of voicing his desire, of setting another’s body willingly at his command. He knows Agron wants him, has known that from early on, but there’s a visceral joy at actually seeing him shape his desire around Nasir’s, at having him ask and offer and share himself with such generous abandon. It’s difficult to remember sometimes that Agron was a slave himself, not too long ago. Nasir schools himself to remember; to not abuse what power he holds in this still-fledgling bond.
“If you so wish,” he amends, then whoops with surprise when Agron crushes him close.
“I so wish,” Agron growls into his mouth between kisses, his hands everywhere at once, framing and measuring the lines of him as if he would one day sculpt his form in marble. “I’ll fuck you, or have you fuck me, or see aching desire give way in any shape you wish. Just let me have you.”
“Yes.” He laughs, startled and breathless, against Agron’s lips, and kisses fiercely back. Agron’s hands are roaming greedily across every inch of him, as if he’s waited to touch him for years and now can’t get enough. They close around his hips, long fingers fanning to stroke down his thighs, pulling them wider so he can settle and move between them, his swollen cock grinding hard against Nasir’s. Nasir swears under his breath and thrusts up, chasing the slippery hot friction. His cock seems to have forgotten that he’s come so recently; it’s hardening steadily, rising to the challenge. He scrapes his fingers down the wide expanse of Agron’s back and then follows the firm swell of his arse. He grabs onto Agron’s buttocks to drag him closer still, strokes over rounded flesh and hears Agron’s breath hitch.
“Fuck the gods,” Agron mutters, squirming under his caresses. Nasir grins and rears to bite his mouth, sucking his lower lip between his teeth. “Forget the gods. Fuck me.”
A quick flash of heated eye; a kiss dropped to his open mouth, another to his neck, his ear, and then he feels Agron’s muscles gather. His hands close with sudden force on Nasir’s upper arm and thigh and flip him over near effortlessly, the rough weave of the blankets sudden and startling against his hardened nipples and taut cock. Agron’s hands tug him up, gentle but insistent, and Nasir follows suit, coming to bear on spread knees and poised elbows.
For a moment, there’s an absence of touch but he senses the heat of Agron’s gaze as keenly as if it was his hands; he feels blood rush to his cheeks, imagining those sea-blue-green eyes fastened on his tense buttocks and the eager opening between.
“There’s salve…” Nasir murmurs, then halts, startled into a deep, throaty noise when he feels Agron’s tongue instead, warm and wet, licking a broad trail from his balls to his entrance, prodding and challenging. His head drops to his balled fists at the slick-soft assault, first teasing round his rim, then working its way inexorably inside. He keens with need when Agron licks at him again and again, opens him up with devastatingly soft yet insistent strokes. He feels his balls tighten at the slick intrusion, feels his hole twitch and open, desperate for more.
“Agron,” he manages, just barely keeping from biting his own tongue. No answer, only the steady, wet thrust inside him, fucking him slick and ready. Agron’s hands cup around his buttocks, spreading them wider as his tongue conquers and undoes him, swipe by demanding swipe. He gives in, back arching like a cat’s, head dropping low between his shoulders. “Gods. Please.”
He hisses his frustration when Agron’s tongue withdraws, then sighs his relief when it’s replaced with the thick heft of his cock, slippery with oil. A breathless moment of suspension, and then Agron growls audibly and pushes, one long thrust between his spread cheeks, slow enough so he can feel every inch as it fills him. He sucks in air, willing his body to soften, to accept the invasion. It does. When Agron pulls back halfway, then shoves back in, it’s suddenly gloriously easy to welcome him deep inside his body. The hot, full plunge drives all conscious thought from his mind, focusing his entire being upon that wanton movement, hard and shameless and demanding all he has to give. My choice. Mine. Nasir lets go at the thought, rolls his hips and gives himself over to the rhythm. They rise and fall together, stroke for stroke, and it reminds him of the synchrony of swordplay, the fierce joy when he finally gets a move right. Nasir hears deep, pleading moans, only semi-aware that he is the one making them, and not caring.
“I have been thinking about this,” Agron gasps against his ear, tracing the delicate ridge with damp lips. His hand has found its way around Nasir’s belly, cupping his throbbing cock. He pulls and squeezes at it, driving hot sparks of need through Nasir’s body. “Wondering what it would feel like – the heat of you beneath me, around me. How you would move. What sounds you’d make.” He groans when Nasir rolls his hips, pushes back deliberately to take Agron deeper, and then rolls forward into his fondling fingers. “I could not sleep for wondering.”
Nasir smiles, dazed with heat and frenzy, and repeats the motion to lure that lovely desperate noise from Agron’s lips again. “Did you put hand to cock, thinking of me?”
The warm breath of Agron’s laughter gusts against his temple, blowing stray strands of hair across his cheek. “Every night, several times. And sometimes of a day.”
“That sounds” – he cries out as Agron shifts his angle, hitting him just there – “frustrating.”
Agron’s hand tightens around his cock, warm calloused palm and clever fingers working every inch of him. Nasir exhales sharply. Not long now.
“Harder,” he demands, and in a second the hand withdraws, Agron’s fingers clutching instead at his hips, holding him tight as he fucks with hard, mindless abandon, his breath coming in short gasps against Nasir’s nape. Nasir pants desperately as the harsh thrusts hit him deep and full, right against the spot inside him that kindles him to white-hot pleasure on every stroke. He feels his body curl and tighten and shouts Agron’s name when he comes, his cock spilling wet heat across his belly and the blankets. His hips keep riding out the final shudders, his inner muscles contracting around the hard flesh still moving in him. He hears Agron’s answering moan as if from far away, feels his cock swell and burst inside him, warm spurts of come filling him on the ebbing clench of his spent passion. He slumps, boneless, against the splattered blankets and has not the energy to welcome or protest Agron’s sweaty weight collapsing on his back.
He doesn’t know how much time has passed but eventually they move clumsily, rearranging themselves on the bed to gaze at each other’s faces. Agron’s eyes are darker now, almost grey with sated desire. One day, Nasir thinks muzzily, he will know all the colours of his gaze, every shade and every feeling it goes with. He looks forward to such a day, but also to the intermediary discovery, the learning of Agron’s every mood and skin and motion, mapping him out like a battle to be won.
He will learn how to do this.
Meanwhile, Nasir holds him close, his hands luxuriating in the sharp bristle of short hair against his stroking palms.
“We had best rally,” he mocks, poking at ribs slippery with sweat. “Almost a full day has passed, we’ve gained a valued prisoner, and Spartacus has not yet given speech. Surely we are to gather for it within the hour.”
Agron chortles into his neck, lips still slack. “Unless he plans to hold forth upon pleasures of your body, I fear he’ll find my ears unreceptive.”
Nasir smiles, tracing the relaxed muscles of Agron’s back with his fingers. “I could stand beside him,” he offers, “and kindle spark of attention.”
Agron’s head lifts at that, brow furrowed slightly as he studies Nasir’s face, though his lips quirk in a lazy smile. “You do not need to offer spark,” he says softly, “when fire already blazes at your feet.”
Nasir feels that fire like a living thing, warming him from within. He has nothing to say to it, but he smiles back and arches his neck to butt his forehead against Agron’s, just lightly. Agron’s hands are calm and warm on him, steady against the world’s vertigo. It’s good to know that they are there, their scarred strength offered in love and support when he needs it.
Better still to know his own hands are as free, and strong enough to return the favour.