Prompt: Oenomaus can't help but to make comparisons between Agron/Nasir and Barca/Pietros. He hopes their story has a happier ending.
Embracing the warmth of the gods as he stepped out of Lucius' temple, still heavily bandaged and yet now able to walk and wander without support. Oenomaus felt for the first time since his home was ransacked by the rebels something akin to peace and tranquillity. His time in the pits was over, his enslavement to the Romans, and his quest to find his purpose beyond being a gladiator and Doctore.
It was a quiet and dusty dawn, most of the liberated slaves were still asleep, despite the glare of the morning becoming increasingly brighter and sharper with every passing second. Only a few were awake and preparing their stocks for the day, while some were tending to those who were wounded.
Naevia and Crixus were already sparring. Oenomaus felt pride in seeing her determination, and fierce spirit being renewed from the broken shell of the person she once was. She was such a sweet and innocent woman, poisoned by her terrors in the mines. Oenomaus had no doubt that with Crixus' guidance she was on the path of becoming a stronger and better woman.
Moving down the steps, wary of the sleeping, Oenomaus nodded towards Spartacus and Agron, who were stood along the steps towards the left side of the temple. He avoided going over, however, he still held the slightest distrust and reluctance towards the rebellion. Or perhaps it was to the unknown. Obeying the Romans was all he was really trained for. Though he will still greet his former gladiators as brothers, they have restored his honour, and saved his life, and for that he is in their debt.
Watching Agron, Oenomaus began to assess the training for the day. The German has come a long way since the ludus, especially without the distracting presence of his lesser skilled brother. Not that Oenomaus would ever reveal this to him. Oenomaus did not fear Agron, knowing he could easily best him, but the man was a valuable friend, and brother.
Agron's added power and rage when dealing with the Romans will have been the result from Duro's death. Oenomaus can understand this feeling. He felt it when Gannicus confirmed the affair with Melitia, he felt it when he saw Gannicus' blood be split by his sword, and he felt it when he had Gannicus' life at his hands, only for it to be swept away when the stands fell on him.
And yet as Oenomaus watched Agron jog towards the small Syrian, face stretched wide with a grin, dimples showing, he knew that Duro's death was not all he was fighting for now.
How alike does the scene resemble. The giant gladiator, arrogant with his successes and honour in the arena, nonetheless filled with hopes of freedom. Then the frail by comparison companion, dark in skin, and a life lived of service, no action independent beyond what their master orders. Oenomaus had no doubt that before the rebels stampeded his master's house Nasir would have never so much held a sword before.
Barca and Pietros reincarnated.
A lifetime ago, or more specifically two, Barca had spoken of freedom to Gannicus, then as a whispered promise, a belief, in Pietros' ears.
If Crixus had ended Ashur's life when he had the chance. Barca would certainly have been an asset to Spartacus' campaigm. However loyal Barca was to the house of Quintus Lentulus Batiatus, he was more loyal to his brothers, and especially to Pietros.
Pietros, on the other hand, would have been ideal to have had during training. None of the rebels, training or not, would have gone thirsty with Pietros around, or had been absent of the correct weapon.
Whatever experience Pietros may have had of weapons though was a purely intellectual knowledge, the thought of Pietros swinging a sword made Oenomaus smirk.
Pietros couldn't fight for himself. That was Barca's job. Oenomaus shoved down the stab of guilt. Cutting down Pietros from that noose had felt like his own personal failure. At the same time Oenomaus was relieved. Whatever his brothers did outside of training was not his concern, but he still should not have missed it. Barca would never have forgiven him. But Pietros freed himself in the end. Spartacus taking vengeance before he was even known as a rebel leader.
Oenomaus could still recall Pietros' trust and naivety when it came to the Beast of Carthage. It meant his death in the end.
But already he could see this would not be Nasir's downfall.
Oenomaus could not help but to grow fond of the man who helped Naevia in tending to his wounds, being her comfort outside of Crixus. He also brought Agron back from his blind rage.
He may have never been taught as a gladiator, but Nasir had desire. A desire to prove himself, to gain skill, to spill his blood and tears if it meant victory. He was a gladiator in a less obvious way, but a gladiator nonetheless.
He was brave, but small. Fierce, but too impulsive. He was fast, but weak. At least compared to Agron, Spartacus, Lugo, Crixus, even Saxa.
Oenomaus could not foretell the future.
He did not know where these rebellions would lead to. Wars? Victory? Death?
Agron had clasped Nasir's face bumping their foreheads together as they shared laughter and joy. It was haunting how alike they were to his dead friends. Huddled alone together with just their affection.
Oenomaus signed deeply, only time would tell if they were destined to survive the path Spartacus has led them on.
But where Barca and Pietros were to die apart, viciously and alone, Oenomaus hoped that the gods would not give Agron and Nasir the same fate.
For Barca and Pietros, Oenomaus wished that Agron and Nasir would die side by side, whether in old age living in Agron's former lands as farmers, like what Barca had promised Pietros.
Or at the hands of the Romans, in pride and honour as free men.
All the rebels had now woken, and are fed and clothed, training was beginning.
"Oenomaus!" Spartacus shouted from behind him within the archway of the temple, flanked by Lucius and Mira, "Spar with Agron, I shall spar with Nasir, and Crixus with Naevia. The rest of you join together until it is time to switch!"
"Just me and you Doctore." Agron cheekily chuckled whilst he watched Nasir join Spartacus' side.
"I am not a Doctore. No longer. I am a brother." Oenomaus replied smiling before taking the defence.
Beating Agron to the ground within five strikes, Oenomaus guided him to change tactics,
"Don't move too quickly German you lose your balance. Soon you will hundreds of thousands Romans wanting your blood, your head on a spike. It would not do to make any foolish mistakes."
"You are well this day. Your wounds healing?"
"Yes, as evidenced by my knocking you to the ground."
"I was being cautious of your wounds. Wouldn't want you suffer greatly and miss your chance of killing a Roman fuck!" Agron guffawed, despite being slightly affronted.
Yes, Oenomaus thought, hearing Nasir's hiss and clash of his sword with Spartacus may the gods save them. And us all.