This is a short little comment fic written for the 2012 Spartacus Kinkme over on LJ - come write for it!

I own nothing.

When Spartacus had freed Nasir of his collar, his skin had been dark and smooth and clear as mid-winter nights. This was the case no longer. He sees Agron's face fall into a frown at the new mark he bears across shoulder. Nasir is gentle in discouragement of questing fingertips, knowing a wince as like to push Agron over the edge into fury as into tenderness.

"Do not dwell," he insists when his lover's face remains marred with disquiet, own fingers tracing the prominent scar high on chest, "Momentarily it will be but memory."

Agron's hand, warm and calloused and impossibly alive, closes over Nasir's and there is the smile the dark-skinned man has been searching for. Rome could burn around them and still he would not tear his eyes from that smile, and the love it brings with it. The tension eases out of his gladiator as Agron leans down to press dry lips to dry lips.

"Gratitude in advance for greater care taken," the German mumbles against steady mouth, words teasing and sweet but tone holding darker promise of blood spilt in retribution. Nasir smiles against curious tongue, pulling back to refuse entrance. Agron frowns and tries to haul the Syrian back but Nasir, light of foot and small of frame, dodges easily.

"We all must bear scars," he reminds, gesturing once again to the gladiator's own skin, "and not all are offences that call to revenge."

Spartacus chooses that moment to speak to the crowd and Agron sees an opportunity, hand shooting out to drag Nasir back and under his arm. Mouth meets neck as the German whispers, "As may stand, yet I still call that the Gods claim cocks of all who lay finger upon you." At Nasir's raised eyebrows, he qualifies "in whisper," with a shrug and a grin that brings the Syrian's own smile to life.

When the moon is high, Agron takes him by the hands and leads him to lay in the space they have claimed for themselves ("The illusion of privacy is better than none at all, little man"). The German disrobes his Syrian with surprisingly gentle hands for all they are steeped in blood and steel, and spreads him out against the rough blankets they have scavenged.

It is a ritual well-known to Nasir, one that Agron performs each time he earns a new badge of brotherhood, and he relaxes under the familiar foraging touch. When travelling fingertips meet imperfect skin, lips and tongue are swift to follow.

The scar on his thigh, angry pink in its newness and garnered in a sparring with one of the gladiator's brethren, feels touch of tongue first. Nasir gasps into the jarring sensation, still laden with surprise that such damaged skin can be sensitive rather than deadened to feeling.

Next are three thin scratches, horizontal across hipbone; the remains of a graze from a pronged Roman glove, vicious in its bite. Nasir had been lucky not to lose his guts, flighty feet a very welcome saviour that day. Agron had torn the shit's arm from shoulder, and only Nasir's determined hands stopped the corpse becoming like sand in rain. Mouth pauses here and Nasir can feel memories remembered in the careful, determined laving the marks receive. Hands hold him down at hip and thigh as he squirrels beneath his gladiator's tongue, hot and aching.

Then a familiar pattern - fading bruise to ribs in the shape of a Roman shoulder that soon lay cleaved at his feet; a tear on his back that had bled more than it had depth, again the courtesy of Rome and her filthy dogs; several small nicks at the hands of trainers within these very walls, and onto the first mark given by Roman sword to his flesh – here Agron is almost frenzied in his attention and Nasir left a wanting mess in his hands - until finally the small white scar on his lip, courtesy of the brawl Spartacus called for to bring the Germans close.

Nasir's body is singing as Agron's tongue flicks over the mark again and again, appeasing worry and asserting love. The darker skinned man knows it pains his golden-limbed gladiator that violence stains his beloved's flesh, but blood and pain are old friends of those who rebel, a truth Nasir accepts if not welcomes.

There are other scars, ones that Agron knows naught of and that Nasir hides with the precision of a Champion of the arena. The Syrian recognises his gladiator can bear the wounds inflicted upon dark skin only in the knowledge that he will salve them when the sun sleeps, and Nasir will never willingly offer up scars his lover has no hope of soothing.

Agron's face so near to his own, dimpled grin within tasting distance, warms Nasir's body and soul and lays another scar to his heart. His lips turn up despite the pain such beauty brings upon him. Each teasing smile, each lingering touch, each flex of muscled back within Nasir's sight layers scar upon scar until they are tender and bruised and beating alongside the drum in his chest.

Every second his gladiator is not by his side tears into the muscle that propels blood through limbs, the longer the separation the deeper the wound. Each fool-headed, hastily tacked plan that spirits his German from reach, possibly until they meet again in the afterlife, squeezes breath from the Syrian with every step until his ribs feel cracked with force of it. Nasir is sure as he is of the stars and the moon that the Roman who will likely slice the muscle from his skin will stand in shock upon witnessing the disfigured flesh he carries hidden underneath.

Spartacus is a man of great command and Nasir, who has lived under men with just the illusion of such a quality, had recognised and feared the talent upon sight. Such men were often blinded by their beliefs, bottomless and unquenchable, dragging willing bodies to their death because no matter how hot the fire beneath skin, it cannot make up for poor numbers and unskilled fighters.

His beautiful Agron will fare better than many for being baptised with fire and blood on Roman soil, the only thing Nasir will ever show the filthy shit's gratitude for, but even he with all the fighting skills he possesses will tumble against the might of a Roman army.

The very thought that this man, who loves with the same immense passion as he hates, whose faith and loyalty has dragged Nasir out from the mentality of a slave and whose fierceness has broken every wall the Syrian had erected, no longer walking in this world has the dark skinned man arching, lust tinged with terror and the foreboding of loss.

Nasir knows deep within that this is an unwinnable battle. He knows Spartacus is a great man but a rash one, prone to looking for fairness and truth in hearts that hold only treachery and lies. He knows these faces he has grown to love, and the one he holds most dear, are likely to lie crushed beneath Roman boots.

He also knows no words he could utter will turn his warrior from purpose, and as such he keeps these wounds beneath his skin and out of sight. Each tender hand and touch of lip to lip, each sweetly exhaled breath onto waiting skin, each fond word that falls from German tongue claws him fresh, bloodying the deepest crevices of Syrian body as beastly love grins with blood-red fangs at the corner of vision.

The low whisper into his ear, mein geliebter,meine Liebe, in a voice wrecked with devotion has Nasir following his lover to release, a shuddering, vicious thing that shakes the very bones of him. Agron slumps heavily onto welcoming Syrian body, slipping into satisfied languor as quick as a blink and Nasir lets hot German skin and strong beating heart lure him to dreams.

Yes, Nasir bears many scars and he will gladly carry them with a smile on his lips until the afterlife claims his soul.

Thank you for reading, feel free to leave me your thoughts.