Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Author Notes: Sequel to my earlier OT3 fic 'The Pursuit of Desire.' This one took a little longer than expected to write. Sorry! Enjoy.
TOOTH AND NAIL
Nasir's recovery was slow, but he had company. Agron and Duro were his shadows, with light touches to his shoulders and back as his healing wound began allowing movement once more. He grew stronger each day and rested well at night, a hand always in his to anchor him when the hurt and darkness returned. He ate hungrily and drank in the brothers' presence, pressing close and not quite believing he was awake.
Agron and Duro kept their eyes fixed on Nasir. They had done so before, admiring and craving. Now their gazes gleamed with desire and pride. Nasir looked back at them with identical expression.
Nasir woke to fingers stroking his side. Duro's head was on his chest, his eyes fixed on Nasir's injury. Nasir's hand went without thought to rest in Duro's hair, thumb brushing his forehead. To escape the afterlife and wake up to this each morning was a true blessing. A blessing he sometimes could not believe was his.
"You could have gone from us," Duro muttered, mind again clearly consumed by Nasir's escape from death.
His eyes spoke of how that would pain him, making Nasir's breath hitch. He doubted it would ever feel real to him – these two men with such care and desire for him in their expressions, paired with loving words and touch. How they answered the heat he felt inside for them with heat of their own. Yet here was Duro still present beside him and Agron sleeping at his back, still watching him each day, still pressing gentle kisses to his skin. This was his. Thank the Gods.
He tugged gently on Duro's hair, causing surprise and delight in the man's face. The heat inside Nasir spiked. This must be a fragment of what Naevia and Crixus felt, what had pushed them to find each other, to cling to despairing hope. And now it was gladly becoming Nasir's madness too.
He pulled Duro closer, higher, until his mouth was in reach. Nasir pressed his lips to Duro's, a sweet grateful wanting kiss that caused Duro's tongue to flicker. The heat grew and Nasir's mouth opened, allowing Duro entrance. Neither of them could keep quiet. Duro pressed eagerly against Nasir, careful around the injury. Nasir raked nails down Duro's back, thirsty for the noises such action produced.
Then Agron's hands slid down both their bodies and the hour was lost to them all.
Nasir had started working around camp again. He relished being able to move freely once more. He worked beside Naevia and the Medicus, his nimble fingers suited to the tasks. Many who passed through called comment on the marks his body bore from teeth and nails. Many Gauls were of opinion he was mad to place himself between two Germans. Nasir smiled. That was answer enough.
Naevia was smiling too. Their expressions were identical in happiness found. Like Nasir, she grew stronger each day and began to learn sword with Crixus. She squeezed Nasir's hand and said nothing. She understood.
Nasir was bolder each day. Agron could see all too well what a prize the little man had been to his dominus. He knew how to please, how to draw out desire, with such skill unknown to Agron and Duro. It left them both breathless, how well he played their bodies, the attention he lavished on them, the light in his eyes they were certain no other had seen before them.
And he could use sword and shield well now and bonded with Naevia, giving her strength. He was a blessing to the rebels. But he was especially treasured in moments when three gazes met and smiles met skin.
The Medicus granted Nasir leave to take missions outside the camp walls. The news made him grin, an expression Duro mirrored. Spartacus nodded approval and sent him to hear news at the nearest town and obtain food. Agron and Duro went with him. Everyone now knew the three would not be parted from one another.
Cloaked and walking with the confidence of free men, they spread out through the town. They were a net made flesh, gathering all between them. There was news of Glaber and where his troops had last been seen, of mercenaries gathered by way of heavy coin, of the prophet Lucretia who blessed all that felt her touch. Of crucifixes in the town square, examples made on Glaber's orders. All who spoke of rebellion perished. Nasir effortlessly blanked his expression. No one would gain hint of his allegiances.
He knew how to hold himself correctly. He had accompanied his dominus to similar markets many times. He bought food enough for a family – to procure large quantities would only bring suspicion. So he picked salted meat, bread, fish, olives. No weapons of course.
He was enjoying the stretch of his muscles and the change of scenery when a shout went up. Someone had seen something and there was Duro running, Agron appearing out of another nearby street. Nasir slid into shadows and followed quickly behind, heart pounding. Soldiers were closing in and Duro and Agron were soon forced to take up swords. They worked fluidly together as though part of one being. Nasir dropped his bag and pulled a short sword free when an unnoticed Roman neared Duro's back. It was not Nasir's blood that would spill today.
He wove between the brothers, finding gaps and sealing them. He was part of that same being too. When the soldiers had been felled, Nasir took up his bag again. More soldiers would soon arrive and even together, the three could not stand against a legion. Agron and Duro ran beside him, bags on their backs and cloaks like wings behind them.
The day had been long and Agron tasted of blood and sweat. Nasir ghosted fingers over the deep cut Agron had suffered. It pearled red, reminding him of what could have been. Such a thought felt like a knife to his own chest. He could forget at night, and during quieter days, that death was the rebels' constant spectre. That one or both of the brothers could be taken from him. That he could be the one to fall away. If either came to pass, he would be lost.
He surged closer, sucking on Agron's tongue, pushing back greedily into Duro, hands trying to possess all at once. This was freedom – finding something you would give everything to hold onto. He would fight all of Rome to never be lost again.