A/N: This is slash, Maximus x OC.

Battle Hunger

There were only two of them left. Maximus gazed at the bald man with but a shield wrapped around his arm. He was small, like himself, but compact and lean. His light skin on his arms and legs glistened with sweat. He stood with feet in the sand like a stalking panther. Maximus heard the man's name shouted a few times earlier. It was something like Quartus.

The massive gladiator in the horned helmet charged at Quartus with a raised long sword. He sidestepped to dodge the overhead slash, but the sand beneath gave way and he fell a shoulder to the ground. All he could do was raise his shield above to block the next swing.

Maximus dashed forward and lunged his short sword at the gladiator's unprotected ribcage. Metal clashed with bone and the warrior howled in agony. He stumbled back from Quartus, clasping a hand around the handle of the weapon that was lodged inside of him. He swung wildly at Maximus and blood sprayed as the blade grazed his forearm. A leg kicked upwards and connected with Maximus' chest. The air exploded from his lungs as he hit the ground hard. Wincing, he opened an eye to the sunny sky and saw a dark figure above him ready to plunge a sword downward.

There came a cry and a loud bashing sound. Maximus opened both eyes and sat up to see the large gladiator sprawled on the ground taking blows from the edge of Quartus' shield. He was relentless. Blood sprayed upward into his face and gritted teeth. When Quartus realized the gladiator under him was no longer moving, he stood up and looked around at the cheering crowd. He turned to Maximus. A look of brutal satisfaction painting his expression. He walked towards his fallen comrade and lowered a hand to him.

Maximus reached out his hand to grab his, but the man's arm continued downward and grabbed the leather breast plate beneath his neck, and with one powerful pull, brought Maximus to his feet. They stared at each other, faces inches apart. Quartus' eyes subtly moved down and up over Maximus. With an arm, he wiped the sweat from his forehead. Taking off the bloody shield from his arm, he threw it to the side. His brutish grin was barely visible as he turned from Maximus and walked towards the arena's gate.

Maximus stepped from the arena and onto stone. The tunnel walkway was almost pitch black. There was only one other there. A silhouette of a man leaning against the wall with crossed arms. He was waiting for him. Maximus stopped in front of Quartus, staring intimately into the haunting shadows of his features. Quartus unfolded his arms and let them fall at his sides. He leaned in close. Maximus did not move as the man's chest plate laid against his. His rough lips grazed Maximus' chin and slowly moved to his ear. Just touching, ever so slowly. When Quartus' lips were facing him again, Maximus leaned in and kissed them. Taste of blood. Biting, devouring. Saliva was like the water quenching their thirst. Hands slowly came up and around shoulders. Chests moving over each other faster, harder.

Maximus pulled away, breathing heavily. He stepped back, slowly steadying his lungs. His arm wiped at his mouth. He stared at the shadowed man, and the man stared back. Maximus turned from him. One foot stepped forward, and then another.