Author: Miss Pamela
Pairing/Character: Vorenus, Pullo
Rating: PG 13
Summary: This is a missing scene from "An Owl in a Thornbush." I still maintain that, despite the offer of sodomy, this is a gen story.
Disclaimer: HBO/BBC own Rome
"You know what you need?" Pullo gestured broadly at the moon with his wineskin.
Vorenus sighed. "I can't imagine." He turned pebbles in his hands. White stone, grey shadow. White stone, grey shadow. He didn't look up.
"A little variety. You know, a blonde, or one of those wild Gaulish women. Maybe even a man. Get your blood flowing." Pullo leaned forward conspiratorially. Vorenus could smell the wine on him. "You know, I bet that's your problem. Your blood has gone weak."
Weak. That would be easier. His blood was too strong. His passions threatened to overwhelm him at every turn. His passion for Niobe had tormented him for eight long years, and it tormented him still.
Well, that and a decidedly drunk legionary who had somehow adopted him. Vorenus raised his head to see Pullo lounging next to the fire, grinning at him like a simple fool. Sighing, Vorenus called out, "Men? You are indiscriminate in your tastes, Pullo. That is a game that boys play."
"Oh, aye, don't get me wrong. I like 'em with large, bouncing breasts and a round ass. Still, I hate to see you so down. I'd give you a turn if I had to." Pullo saluted him with the wineskin and drank deeply.
"You forget yourself, legionary. I am still your commanding officer." Vorenus looked at him sharply. Not that his sharp looks, his reprimands, or his whip had ever done any good with Pullo.
True to form, Pullo merely laughed. "Too right. I do forget sometimes. You're much easier to take like this. You're a goat's prick when you're being my commander."
Vorenus tossed the pebbles into the fire, watching it spark and flare. Red rivers of flame licked across the coals. "Is that all there is?" he asked softly.
"Huh?" Pullo leaned back on one elbow and cocked his head. He took another long swig of wine.
"Is that all? Whores, men; one turn after another, one body after another. Do you not crave love? Some affection for another human being?" Vorenus sighed. "And you call me cold."
"Affection? I have affection for all of them. I even love them, sometimes."
"But that can't be " Vorenus struggled for the words. Once again, the wave of his yearning threatened to engulf him. "That can't be love." Vorenus knew love. Respect, loyalty, pride, love. Those were the cornerstones of human existence.
"You, my friend, need a drink." Pullo staggered to his feet and lurched into a sprawling heap next to Vorenus. Thanks to the firelight and his proximity, Pullo must have seen the melancholy in his soul, because he sat up, as sober as he could make himself.
"Listen," he started. "I don't pretend to know why things have gone so badly between you and Niobe. Truly, she is a rare and beautiful woman"
Vorenus stiffened and glared at him. Pullo merely raised his hands to placate him.
"and if there was a woman worthy of such unfailing devotion, it would be her. But why waste your good spirits on a woman, any woman? If it's affection you wish, well then, you should know that I regard you in the highest." He clapped Vorenus on the back. "You saved my life, you did. I won't be forgetting that soon. I'm your man, Lucius Vorenus. I'll follow you to the end and back."
Vorenus looked at him, his broad, honest face flickering in the firelight. The gods' whims were strange to him, a mere man. He had returned to Niobe, but he was farther away from her than when he was in Gaul. He was still a loyal centurion, but he was also a traitor to the Republic, a heretic. And he was listening to drunken declarations of devotion from the soldier he had whipped just weeks before.
"Well, --" Vorenus allowed himself a small smile. "-- It seems that you have learned of loyalty, if not love."
"See? You're not such a bad commander, after all." Pullo winked at Vorenus and lay down, pillowing his head on his hands.
"Perhaps I have been ignoring my duties." Vorenus stood and crossed over to the other side of the fire, closer to the horses. He mimicked Pullo and lay down, staring at the stars. "I haven't had much need to pay respects to Venus in the last few years. I shall visit one of her altars when we are in Rome."
"That's the spirit," Pullo agreed amiably.
Venus would show him the way. If she forsook him, then, perhaps, the worst had come true. Caesar angered the gods with his pride. Their wrath would be swift and terrible.
Lucius Vorenus was no heretic. He was no traitor. Yet even Titus Pullo had shown more loyalty than Vorenus had.
It was time for Lucius Vorenus to stand up for his beliefs.
Disclaimer:Characters (real and fictional) aren't mine, no money is made with these stories and history isn't changed. Damn.