"You think yourself well enough to train, little man," Agron said, holding out a sword. "Come sword to sword with me."

It was the only invitation Nasir needed, it seemed. The Syrian stood and it was, Agron noticed, with more strength than he might have before. His wound was healing. Dark-skinned fingers wrapped around the hilt of the gladius and Nasir took it from the other man, an eager and determined expression on his face. He'd been insisting for some time that he was ready but Agron, worried for his health, had denied him training. Now they would see which of the two of them was right.

Agron walked outside the temple with Nasir at his heels, led the other man to an area reserved for training. There were pillars around them and sand underfoot, and it reminded him of the house of Batiatus, in some ways. The pillars, though, were crumbling, much like the rest of their new home. That reminded him where he was. As soon as he reached the middle of the training area, he turned to face Nasir. They were both similarly armed; on the way the two had picked up shields and strapped them to their forearms. Steel in hand, they were ready to begin.

There was a light in Agron's eyes. Much had changed between them since the last time they'd clashed swords. He was eager to see what that would mean. Perhaps Nasir would be more likely to let his guard down. Perhaps he wouldn't fight with as much fierceness. A grin curling his lips, Agron held out both arms in a gesture that was almost welcoming - except Nasir would see it for what it really was. A challenge. An invitation for him to attack.

And, to Agron's surprise, attack Nasir did. Immediately. The Syrian swung his sword over his head and brought it down hard, and the force of that blow against his shield was greater than he would have expected. Agron dropped his shield arm slightly and looked at Nasir, a short laugh escaping him, though he was taking this more seriously than he had been before.

"Good," he said, before planting his feet and finding his stance. "Again." And this time when Nasir came at him with swinging sword, he countered. Blocked and pushed aside the other man's gladius before thrusting with his own, and that attack, too, was blocked. The Syrian was moving quickly. But no so quickly that Agron couldn't anticipate every last move he made.

Nasir took another swing over his head, but when that sword came down, Agron wasn't there; instead, he's sidestepped and moved quickly behind the other man, brought his sword around to press right against where his only recently scarred skin was. "I could have opened your stomach and seen inside," he said, and the words were whispered right into Nasir's ear.

The Syrian let out a frustrated noise. There was a fire in that dark gaze that Agron remembered well, a fury he'd seen before. Nasir came at him again, and again, and every time Agron countered him. Every time, he gained advantage. And that only fed the flame inside Nasir. Gave it fuel. Made him fight twice as hard. Soon, the two seemed to be on even ground. In the air was the constant sound of steel against steel, of opposing blades, and underneath the heavy breathing of both men as they pushed their bodies closer and closer to their limits. But one was stronger than the other.

All it took was a mere second. Nasir's shield arm shifted just enough to leave him exposed, and Agron took advantage of it. He thrust forward with his own shield to knock Nasir backwards, and the edge of the thing caught the Syrian's mouth. Agron immediately saw blood, and his blue eyes widened as Nasir hit the ground.

"Nasir—" Agron began, and he meant to help the other man up, to make sure he was all right, but Nasir stood and, without a moment's hesitation, lay into him again. It was as if he hadn't even noticed the shield splitting his lip open. At first, Agron worried. He still saw blood on Nasir's face and he wondered how hard that blow had been. Was he badly hurt? Agron himself had taken harder hits before but Nasir was not a trained gladiator as he was. Surely he wasn't used to the physical abuse that Agron had become accustomed to.

It wasn't long before the Syrian was made aware of his injury. A drop of blood fell onto his chest and drew his eye there. Nasir lifted his sword hand and dragged his knuckles over that drop of blood, smearing it on his skin. Agron wondered was what going through his mind; was he in shock? Was the pain only just settling in? Again, the gladiator moved to help - but again, he was stopped. Because when his concerned gaze found Nasir's face, the expression he found there was twisted. It was defiant.

This was the side of Nasir that had first drawn Agron's attention. Back at the villa Nasir had been liberated from, he'd had this untamed animal inside of him. A wild dog, they'd said. And here it was again on these sands and against Agron and the gladiator fucking welcomed it. It was with a grin that he met Nasir's gladius again, the Syrian coming at him hard. "Come on, little dog," Agron called out, feeding the fierce animal that had risen in Nasir. "Show me your bite." And Nasir did. His attacks pushed Agron back, back, toward the wall until he collided with it.

Another swing of Nasir's sword and Agron's shield was ripped away from him. The German now fought with his back against the wall, and every once in a while he got a glimpse of that face so set in its purpose. There was a part of Agron that called out for this strength in Nasir. A part of him that hungered for it. A part that would taste it.

Nasir swung his sword down toward Agron. The gladiator rolled to the side, against the wall, to avoid it, and the steel met stone. Nasir turned to launch another attack, but could not; Agron got behind him and pushed his front against the wall, making quick work of removing shield and sword from hands. His own sword followed, dropping to the sand, and Agron grabbed both of Nasir's wrists, pinning them against the wall.

The two breathed hard, and for a few still seconds, it was the only sound around them. But then Nasir struggled against Agron, no doubt still in the grip of that intense aggression. His strength could not overcome that of the gladiator's, though, and not when he had the advantage of pushing all his weight against the other man's body.

"And I thought you'd been tamed," Agron said in a low, teasing voice. Nasir let out a growl that only made the other man grin.

"I almost had you," came the reply. And he sounded so sure.

Abruptly, Agron dropped one of Nasir's wrists and instead took the man's chin in one hand, turning his head so he could lean forward and speak against that jaw. "And yet only one of us bleeds." He bared his teeth in another grin and watched as Nasir's dark eyes fluttered closed. "Tell me, little man," Agron began, dragging his lips over Nasir's jaw and to his ear. "Do you dream of one day overpowering me?"

Nasir's answer was quick. "I will," he promised, though there was a tremor in his voice. Agron's lips stole away some of his resolve.

Their bodies were moving. Who had begun first was a mystery. Perhaps they'd both started at the same time, but Nasir pushed back against Agron and met the man's slowly, slowly grinding body. One of Agron's hands still held onto Nasir's wrist, but the other arm was slowly sliding around the Syrian, his palm pressed against muscled stomach. "Will you fight me now?" he asked, as if it wasn't obvious. The hitch in Nasir's breathing was the only answer he needed, and yet he got more; the Syrian twisted, lifted his free hand to curl around the back of Agron's head and drag him into a kiss.

The heat between them was almost unbearable. Some of the intensity from that training still remained in that kiss and it pulled a groan from Agron's throat. The gladiator tasted blood on his tongue, coppery and familiar, and it only encouraged him to lean further into the kiss, make Nasir feel the sting of it.

Agron relinquished his hold on Nasir's wrist. One arm kept the Syrian's body pressed against his own and the other went to other devices. Soon Nasir's subligaria was torn from his body, dropped into the sand beneath their feet, and wandering fingers found waiting entrance. They teased, pressed, but did not breach. Not yet. Agron waited for something.

And he soon got it. Already Nasir's back was arched and he offered himself to the man at his back with every move of his body, but it hadn't been enough. That offer found voice when finally Nasir pulled away from the kiss and let out a desperate noise. "Agron," he breathed. Begged. And he wouldn't be denied this.

Two fingers pressed inside of Nasir, their way eased only with the sweeping of Agron's tongue over his own fingertips. It was the sole thing available to them; there was oil inside that would make everything slick, but Agron would have Nasir right in that moment. Right where they stood. In time, Nasir's flesh gave way to those thrusting fingers, accepted them. The Syrian even pushed back to meet them. There lacked some of the usual tenderness between them; everything seemed faster, harder, more desperate and driven by need. Every other instance, they'd taken their time. Savored every last second of it. But now there was only the frantic desire to have one another.

No more time was wasted. Agron pulled his own subligaria off, left the both of them naked, and his length was soon slick with saliva. He guided his hard flesh to the opening made ready for him and pushed his hips forward, and when he was finally sheathed, hips pressed flush against Nasir's ass, the both of them moaned. Agron's back was bowed and his lips were pressed against Nasir's shoulder blade and he tasted the salt of the other man's skin, grazed his teeth over it and groaned even as he started to move against Nasir's body. Pulling back and pushing forward again. Thrusting. Building tension between them, friction. Slow at first, but picking up speed so that Nasir had to brace both hands against the wall in front of him, or else the force of the hips slamming against him would make him crash into it.

And the heat. Agron knew no sweeter feeling. Hot flesh gripping him tightly. Warm skin sliding underneath wandering hands. This body rising in temperature was his. Wrapping both arms around Nasir, Agron pulled him up against his chest where before the Syrian had been bent at the waist. There was a clashing of lips and teeth and the two hungrily tasted one another's tongues as one of Agron's hands explored lower and lower until searching fingers found solid, throbbing flesh. The noises from Nasir's lips fell into Agron's mouth and he swallowed them, reveled in them, demanded more as his hand pumped in time with his hips.

Nasir's release came soon and he shook with the force of it. His back bowed and he leaned forward, trying to find purchase on the wall but his nails only dragged across it. The flesh that was already so tight, so hot around him squeezed Agron's cock even more and drove him closer to his own ending. In the midst of Nasir's release, Agron grabbed onto his hips and started thrusting faster. Harder than before. The tension rose to a breaking point and then, with one final thrust so he was buried inside the other man to the hilt, he came. Agron's face pressed against the back of Nasir's neck and he hissed a long, drawn out, "Fuck," his voice trembling.

The will to remain standing quickly left both of their bodies and they fell to the ground underfoot, both struggling to catch breath again. At the same time, they turned to look at one another, and Agron's face split in a grin. "I think you've regained strength," he said, lifting a hand and lazily brushing the Syrian's cheek with his knuckles.

"Only to have it stolen from me," Nasir returned, and with it, a smile.

"Find it again soon," Agron laughed, stretching out his long body. He wouldn't move from this place, not for some time. Not while his body was so happily sated and not with Nasir so close, shifting to press against his side. He welcomed the man back into his arms. "So I may rob you of it once more."