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31 August 2007 @ 09:56 pm
 
Date: Spring 51 BC
Characters: Nerida, Nicia
Summary: Nerida is loitering inside, the boys otherwise engaged. She and Nicia talk.
Warnings: none
Status: Complete.
Open to the household

It had been long day so far, arguing with Tiberius was very tiresome and she was beginning to think that the young man was doing it simply because he could. Cornelius had also begun to act out now that he had more male role models. That was unpleasant. She'd thought she'd managed to keep something constant and familiar from home. Now it seemed that this too, was fading from her.

With a sigh Nerida let her hair down, running her fingers through the dark wavy strands. Perhaps Elondriel was about? Despite hearing about his long-awaited beating, she still considered him a trustworthy person. After all, he acted as if being beaten was nothing. Even an order from her master or mistress would be welcome, willing it wasn't buying a large amount of things from the market. The crowded area still disturbed her and the more she could avoid it, the better.
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plebe_nicia on September 1st, 2007 03:51 am (UTC)
Nicia had noticed the girl was loitering in the atrium, but didn't draw attention to it. He merely continued on with his task while silently observing the girl. She was apparently sired by Cornelius, and due to circumstances he never got much of a chance to speak with the girl. Curiosity always had a way of getting the better of him.

He put aside the task to complete later and returned to the room, finding the girl still there as bored as she appeared before. This time he drew attention to himself by clearing his throat, approaching the girl with his arms held behind him.

"Run low on things to do, have we?" he asked by way of greeting.
nerida_nymph on September 1st, 2007 03:56 am (UTC)
Nerida started, a flush coming to her cheeks. Nicia. Had she been older when she left she might have remembered him more than a faint blur. She straightened a bit before answering.

"The young lords are not 'in need' of me," she replied, barely restraining the urge to roll her eyes.
plebe_nicia on September 1st, 2007 04:02 am (UTC)
"Do you not approve?" Nicia asked curiously, finding an empty chair to lounge on, while he continued to speak in a casual manner. "Looking after a pair of boys who can take care of themselves is a simple enough task, and considering you share the blood with one of them..."
nerida_nymph on September 1st, 2007 04:09 am (UTC)
Nerida stilled briefly at the casual mention of shared blood.

"He is the one that..." she paused, trying to find the right word. "Bothers me. He's so headstrong, so different from young Cornelius. Or at least, how he was. Now the mouse is... not so mouse-like."

She frowned, upset by her own confusion on the subject. "I would say I don't like him growing up but that's mad. I have known that would happen for some time."
plebe_nicia on September 1st, 2007 04:17 am (UTC)
"Of course, it is the natural progression of things. At first they are young and dependent, and then they grow older and soon become old enough to realize that they are the ones who hold the power and not you. It doesn't necessarily have to end that way, but it often does." Nicia said with a faint tilt of his head, merely throwing out random ideas in his mind and seeing what would stick.

The girl was an intriguing puzzle he was intent on figuring out. Was she shrewd and clever like her mistress? Or did she inherit more from her father than those sharp eyes? She did not seem to inherit much from her mother, and the girl was fortunate for that, if she had reminded Flavia of the woman...
nerida_nymph on September 1st, 2007 04:26 am (UTC)
The ones who hold the power. What a stupid girl she was. Of course. She was used to having the boy mind her, and now not only was he growing but he was given example of how to do such by Tiberius and his father.

Nerida didn't have to wonder why she didn't want him to know his own power.

"My...half-brother," she got out with difficulty. "I do not think he would believe we share blood. Not if it should come from me."

She paused, gritting her teeth and forcing the words out of her mouth.

"What if he requests something of me that is not decent?"
plebe_nicia on September 1st, 2007 04:42 am (UTC)
"It is in your right to refuse, if I remember correctly, you are not a slave. If he is stupid enough to risk the wrath of his father and the Gods, then that is his fall, not yours." Nicia answered simply without even a blink, sighing inwardly that of course Flavia would neglect to teach the girl vital things about the household she belonged.

"Though he has yet to admit that you are his child, the fact you were freed was acknowledgment enough. A child born to a slave is usually kept a slave, unless the father believes in some way that the child is his. You should try, if you haven't, to get in your father's favor. You already have been granted his name, all you have to do is get him to see you as his child. You have a chance to live a life far superior than that of a mere servant by mere virtue of your blood. It is up to you whether you learn how to achieve it. I find it surprising your mistress has not placed the idea in your head already..."

He paused and tapped a finger to his lips as if to gesture that perhaps he had said too much. The only reason he was telling this to the girl instead of leave her to her own devices, but she was Cornelius' child and he felt he owed it to protect her...in his own way of course.
nerida_nymph on September 1st, 2007 04:53 am (UTC)
Nerida's thoughts whirled in her head. Ideas she'd entertained as flights of fancy now...options? She braced a hand on the wall, closing her eyes and trying to make sense of it.

It didn't help that anger was boiling up inside her at the thought that she could have had this earlier. She had known freedom meant something when she was child. But after that night she'd loathed any mention of it. So angry, shamed, and terrified. What better place to hide from the world of monsters than in her mistress's house?

"I am a fool," she murmured, glaring at an invisible reflection of herself. "A stupid fool to let fear rule me."
plebe_nicia on September 1st, 2007 05:08 am (UTC)
"You are young, it is easy to fear when one is so...sheltered." Nicia sighed and shook his head. "Look to the strong woman who has sheltered you and learn from her, see how your mistress Flavia has managed to escape not only death for dishonoring her husband and divorce. There is a power in appearing subservient, to encourage an illusion of being weaker in exchange for more...without notice."

He stood gingerly, favoring one side over the other. "Take advantage of the opportunity this move has made for you. You have far better chance of gaining recognition than young Cornelius. Keep that in mind."

Remember to think fondly of me if you succeed.
nerida_nymph on September 1st, 2007 05:13 am (UTC)
She tore her eyes away from her thoughts and gave Nicia a small, but sincere smile.

"I seem to be becoming increasingly in debt to men in this house," she murmured, amused. "Though, I will not speak of the other. I know you do not like him."

She would avoid mentioning how well she liked Elondriel, lest Nicia take a dislike to her as well.
plebe_nicia on September 1st, 2007 05:20 am (UTC)
"You are clearly your father's child then," he said with a chuckle, "Already intuitive of what not to speak of around me, while making sure to subtly mention it."

He turned and looked at her with a curious tilt of his head, "And what sort of debts do you believe you have?"
nerida_nymph on September 1st, 2007 05:26 am (UTC)
Nerida laughed lightly, binding her hair up.

"Nothing terrible, I hope," she replied. "To you I mean. I believe I have worked out my own exchange with--the other," she corrected quickly. "I merely meant you both have given me something. Amusement, knowledge, a hope of sorts."

She smiled again. "I'm grateful for it."
plebe_nicia on September 1st, 2007 05:40 am (UTC)
"I am glad that you are grateful," he smiled and for the most part it was a genuine one, it was a rare thing for someone to say they were grateful for anything he did.

"This is your home, Nerida. Learn to make it your own, you are needed here more than you think." Nicia paused and the smile faded, "Be wary of the slave, he may be trouble if you get too attached."
nerida_nymph on September 1st, 2007 05:44 am (UTC)
How attached was too attached, she wondered. Nerida nodded.

"I will be mindful of your advice."

And she would be. He had been here far too long to discredit him, even if he wasn't fond of Elondriel.
plebe_nicia on September 1st, 2007 05:53 am (UTC)
"Good. I only mean to protect you," he said sincerely with a faint nod. Nicia had long given up thinking he would ever sire a child of his own, it was just not his lot in life, but since both Cornelius and Flavia have neglected caring for the girl's welfare, he would. If only he was merely pretending the role of father, and that it was a temporary arrangement.

It would be a shame if the girl was kept a servant for the remainder of her days, she deserved better. He was transferring his own wishes and denied dream onto another, but isn't that what most well-meaning parents do?
nerida_nymph on September 1st, 2007 06:00 am (UTC)
"Thank you," she murmured, taking her leave with a nod.

She decided that maybe she should check the boys one more time. Just in case.