"You look as though you need a rest, little man," Agron said with a grin, circling the Syrian. The unforgiving sun was high in the sky, beating down on them both, though one felt it more than the other. Agron recalled his time upon the sands of the ludus, the moments Doctore had pushed them all too hard. He remembered feeling weighted down by the sun's hot rays, and now Nasir suffered the very same thing.

The man's breathing was labored, his dark skin slick with sweat, and he looked unable to keep himself upright, let alone able to wield a gladius and train. But he'd been working hard, and Agron had some pity in his heart. Pity that Doctore had never had for the men under his tutelage. But then again, Agron wouldn't have shown this favor to anyone but Nasir.

The Syrian was stubborn, though: a quality Agron greatly admired. Nasir lifted his sword toward the gladiator and followed him with the tip of it around the circle Agron walked. "I'm not finished with you," came Nasir's reply. Such a defiant little dog.

It drew another smile from Agron. "Take one more step and you'll find yourself face-first in the dirt," he cautioned, but Nasir proved him wrong; the former slave swung his sword, the cool metal singing through the air, but Agron deflected it easily. And he didn't stop there. A flick of the wrist and Nasir was disarmed, his gladius falling to the ground with a dull thump. Then, in one smooth motion, Agron spun Nasir around and lifted his sword to the other man's throat.

"How will you fight me now?" he teased, his voice a purr in Nasir's ear.

The Syrian leaned back against him in what Agron thought might have been surrender. But then he spoke once more. "Let me pick up my sword and I will show you."

But Agron would do no such thing. He grinned against Nasir's ear, tightening his arm around the man's tired body. He had a feeling he was the only thing keeping Nasir on his feet. "I think not," he replied. He pressed a quick kiss against Nasir's neck and then withdrew, though he did so reluctantly. "Drink some water, or the sun will strike you down before I can." With that, he turned to where a jug of water and a pair of cups waited for them in the sand. Nasir followed closely behind.

As Agron poured water into the two cups, Nasir fell back against the outside wall of the sanctuary and sank slowly to the ground, closing his eyes. "You trained like this every day at the ludus?" he asked, finally betraying how exhausted he was in his tone.

The clay cup was pressed into Nasir's hand, and Agron lowered himself onto the ground next to the Syrian. If he were to answer honestly, he'd say that what they'd just done had been nothing compared to what he'd endured in the house of Batiatus, but the last thing he wanted was to diminish the work Nasir had done. So he was, perhaps, a little generous in his reply. "We trained harder than that," he said, "but we prepared for the arena. It was different."

Nasir made a thoughtful sound, raising the cup to his lips and taking a long drink from it. "What was it like?" the Syrian asked, once his thirst had been quenched. "Fighting in the arena?" He turned curious brown eyes upon the gladiator.

Never before had he been asked to put into words what he'd experienced on the sands of the arena. Brow furrowed, Agron lifted his own cup and tapped his bottom lip with the rim of it, taking a moment to think. "There is glory in it," he said after some silence. "There is honor. When I fought in the arena, I forgot that I was a slave. I became a god that dealt death to every man I faced."

When Agron turned to look at Nasir, he found that the Syrian's eyes held more than a little amazement. His heart swelled at this, along with his ego. "I wish I could have seen you fight," Nasir confessed. "I would never wish that slavery upon you again, but…" He trailed off

"But?" Agron urged, raising his eyebrows.

A faint blush stole onto Nasir's cheeks. He glanced down at the cup in his hands, occupying himself with it. "Just seeing you fighting now," he began, "breaking sword with Romans… The way you move has always struck something deep in me. And to imagine seeing you on the sands with the crowd calling your name and worshiping you—" His breath caught, and when he turned to glance at Agron, he would find the gladiator staring at him, a grin on his face.

Agron knew that now that the both of them had tasted freedom and time together, they would never go back to the way they'd lived before, in slavery. But to imagine a different world where he was still fighting in the arena and to imagine Nasir in the stands, dark eyes watching his every move - it didn't entirely disagree with him. "And would you have worshiped me, little man," he asked playfully, "if I were killing for your entertainment?" That had been something Agron had never had qualms about; fighting was something he'd grown up with in his tribe, and he's never been shy of killing when it was needed. At the arena in Capua, it had been needed. Only one would leave those bloodied sands still alive, and every time, it had been Agron.

"I would have been breathless watching you," Nasir answered candidly. His expression was open and sincere, and it suited his face, sweet as it was. "And I would have prayed to the gods for your survival so that I might catch a glimpse of you one more time."

At those words, Agron abandoned his cup and turned toward Nasir. He lifted a hand and cupped the side of the Syrian's face gently, dragging his thumb over the man's bottom lip. "I had never hoped for freedom," Agron said, eyes intent on that full mouth. It begged to be kissed, but he would speak first. "Not before Spartacus brought it to mind. But had you been waiting for me, I would have given the Romans a show the likes they'd never fucking seen before. I would have made myself so loved that they'd have had to present me with the rudis, or the gods themselves would have rebelled."

As the he always did when Agron spoke of his affection, Nasir looked surprised and shocked but wholly delighted at the declaration. There was a small smile tugging at his lips and he leaned forward eagerly, as if chasing the words the gladiator had spoken. "If only I'd been there," he breathed.

Agron's hand slid back into Nasir's hair and he moved just a little closer. "If only," the gladiator murmured. When he next spoke, his lips brushed against Nasir's. "And I would have given you something to dream of, little man." They shared a kiss, so brief that it may not have happened at all. "Would you have looked down at me from your seat?" The more Agron spoke, the closer he advanced toward Nasir, until the man had to lean back to accommodate him. "Admired a body spent and slick with sweat? Would you have imagined touching me?"

Nasir had been pushed onto his back, the sand underneath him sticking to his dark skin. "You speak words that start a fire within me," the Syrian whispered. "My heart never beats so fast as when I'm with you."

Agron lowered his head, the tip of his nose gently sliding over Nasir's jawline. "Nor mine when I feel your pulse quicken," came his reply, and he pressed his lips against the Syrian's neck to taste that heartbeat.

It was a beautiful thing, watching Nasir melt underneath his touch. But even as Agron reveled in it, those dark eyes fluttered open and rested on him, and there was something new and challenging in them. "I wouldn't have been the only one retreating to dreams and imagination," he said.

The gladiator drew back to look at the man stretched beneath him. Whatever fire he'd sparked inside of Nasir was growing; he felt it in the heat of the man's skin and saw it in the depths of his gaze. "Oh?" he replied simply. How he looked forward to what words would next fall from those lips.

"As if you would be unaffected by my eyes on you," Nasir said. "You would have been able to see in them that wherever they traveled, so would my hands, had they been able to reach." The Syrian was pushing up against Agron now, forcing him back this time, until they were both sitting up. Nasir didn't stop there, though; he pushed himself into Agron's lap and pressed close. "And you would have taken that back to your ludus and been tortured by it."

When Nasir spoke like this, his words were less smooth than Agron's. They shook and there was something hesitant about them, but they sent a thrill through Agron all the same. Nasir was a man of few words but this world they'd created, a world in which Agron was still in the arena and Nasir was a voyeur to his strength and to his glory, made the Syrian's words more freely flow.

"The gods favor me," Agron answered, arms wrapping around Nasir's back. "Your hands can reach me now." And so they did. Nasir's hand slid down over the gladiator's chest and stomach even as their lips met in another kiss. This one was longer than the last. This one tasted of more to come. Whatever they imagined, whatever fanciful dreams they might have had of some world that had never existed, none of it compared to the world they truly lived in, because it was a world in which they could touch one another. Taste one another.

That hand, solid and real, disappeared between Agron's legs and pressed against the flesh there. It drew a short groan from the German's throat, and the sound disappeared into Nasir's mouth. He drew back from the kiss, but not too far, giving himself just enough room to whisper. "Take me."

Agron needed no further invitation. He stood, pulling Nasir to his feet with him, and the two stripped themselves of their clothes within seconds. There was nothing slow or seductive about any of their movements; after the conversation they'd just had, their desire for one another was too great for there to be any real grace in what they were doing. They were the both of them driven by need.

Nasir's hand still lingered between them, and soon found purpose there. Strong fingers wrapped around both of their shafts, pressing flesh against flesh and forcing moans from the two of them. Abruptly, after a moment, Agron brushed Nasir's hand away and seized the man by the backs of his thighs, wrapping those legs around him and pushing Nasir's back against the nearby wall. The Syrian tightened his thighs, held himself up as Agron's fingers, hastily made slick with saliva, wasted no time in penetrating and preparing him. It was fast. Rough. It made Nasir tremble.

Agron would never tire of the body he held in his hands. He hoped it would always be this; whenever the two of them wanted one another, they took exactly what they wanted until they were satisfied, and each time, the sensations felt new. They held an excitement that should have faded after the first time or the second time but still hadn't. The merest gasp from Nasir sounded as thought it was a novel discovery, something he'd never heard before, and it made Agron's need for the Syrian surge.

Probing fingers plunged inside of Nasir, stretched him and drove him to move his hips and meet them. His head was thrown back and his eyes were closed, and Agron took the opportunity to taste the man's throat, feeling the vibration of a moan against his tongue. "Agron," Nasir groaned, and the gladiator swallowed the sound of his own name, too. He knew what that utterance meant. Nasir was begging. He wanted more than just those fingers.

Agron would obey. He made slick his own flesh, hand reaching underneath Nasir so he could then guide it to its waiting sheath. The tip of Agron's length breached Nasir and the Syrian slowly lowered himself onto it, fingertips digging into Agron's shoulders and trembling thighs gripping harder onto the gladiator's hips. As he always was, Agron was overcome with the tightness of the body he entered, the heat of it. If there was a sweeter feeling than being buried deep within the man he so loved, he couldn't recall it in that moment.

Muscles already tired from the days training protested this new exercise, but neither man gave in to that exhaustion. A rhythm began between them, and nothing, not even the sky falling down on top of them, would break it. Agron's hands gripped tightly onto Nasir's ass, helped to lower the man down onto his flesh and lift him again. Nasir's body, too, helped to to further that fast, thrusting pace, his heels digging into the backs of Agron's thighs and the muscles of his legs straining as he rode his gladiator.

All it took was the slightest shift, and Nasir was suddenly whimpering and shuddering in Agron's arms. The German looked up at Nasir's face and found eyes glazed over with pleasure and lips parted to make way for a desperate sound. Another thrust, and Nasir's nails dug into his flesh. Another, and the Syrian's limbs tightened around him, held him impossibly close. He knew quite well what he was doing to the other man's body; every pumping of his hips rubbed the hidden bundle of nerves within Nasir and sent a shock of pleasure through him.

And so Agron was relentless. He didn't stop, didn't pause, didn't even let Nasir catch his breath but instead picked up the pace and kept his hips angled exactly where they'd been. His grip even tightened on Nasir's squirming body to make sure he couldn't shy away. And the Syrian's voice rose to the heavens. Sometimes he begged for Agron to stop, but seconds later begged him to never cease, and only the latter request was even granted. Soon, Nasir buried his face against Agron's neck and there he almost sobbed for the pleasure ravaging his body. It built and built until he was at his peak, and he tumbled over it without ever laying a finger on himself. He tumbled over it with a moan of Agron's name that the gladiator wouldn't soon forget.

Agron's own release wasn't far behind; the tight sheath that surrounded his flesh tightened and spasmed and drew the pleasure out of him within a few more thrusts of his hips. Neither of their bodies could endure the strain any longer; as gently as he could, Agron brought them both to the ground before falling onto his back, Nasir on top of him. They breathed heavily and as one, chests rising and falling at the same rate. They were both covered in sand and the evidence of their fucking, but neither could find the strength to care. Neither of them could find the strength to move, and were content with laying in each others' arms.

Eventually, though, a voice carried over to them, disturbing the exhausted peace they'd found. It was another gladiator, calling for Agron, telling him that Spartacus sought him out. Agron groaned in response.

"I would stay here longer," he said, tilting his head to brush his lips over Nasir's forehead.

"You're needed elsewhere," came Nasir's reply. For a moment, neither of them moved, but then Nasir slowly climbed off of Agron, his legs unsteady. He found his balance, or enough of it to take him over to where the jug of water had been abandoned in the sand, and with it, he washed himself off, and Agron when the man finally picked himself up off the ground. The two dressed, and Agron drew Nasir into his arms.

"How glad I am that I do not have to suffer being absent of your touch," he said, resting his forehead on Nasir's. Though his eyes were closed, he could sense the Syrian's smile.

"The gods truly do favor you," Nasir returned, and stepped from the embrace. One of them had to, and Agron didn't have the strength. "Go now. Don't leave Spartacus waiting. I'll soon follow."

One last kiss was stolen, and Agron made his way back into the sanctuary, skin warm and still flushed from Nasir's touch, and already he counted the moments until he could feel it again.