heofona_gehlidu: (eagle)
[personal profile] heofona_gehlidu
Title: Rest safe
Genre: Angst
Summary: For a prompt on [community profile] the_eagle_kink: Deleted scene from movie after Uncle Aquila buys Esca for Marcus. He intends for Marcus to use Esca for sexytimes as well as help but Marcus is embarrassed maybe aroused.
Warnings: None
Pairings: Marcus/Esca
A/N: Just a short little thing for my first Eagle fic

I've no use for you, he'd said, and it had been a lie in more than one sense because it was all too easy for Marcus to picture the uses to which he could put Esca, now the thought was in his mind. Easy enough that it made him feel as nauseated as he'd been before his first battle.

“I won't use him like that,” he told Uncle Aquila, his voice rising more than he might have liked. He was glad, now, that he'd sent Esca to the stables to see to his horse. He half-hoped Esca had come to his senses and run as far from Calleva as his legs would take him.

“Don't be ridiculous,” the man said calmly. “There's no harm in it. Might do you good.”

“Is that why you bought him for me?” Memories of Esca's quiet, I must serve you, and the resigned dip of his head as he'd said it came into Marcus' mind and he knew the answer a heartbeat before his uncle replied.

“Not entirely.” Uncle Aquila gave him a small, knowing smile. “You do need a slave, Marcus. Someone to see to your needs.”

There was more left unsaid and those unspoken words hung between them, bringing the colour to Marcus' cheeks. It made it no better that Uncle Aquila did not enumerate his weaknesses; Marcus was all too painfully aware of his awkward, stumbling gait, his inability to do the simplest of tasks for himself.

“Why him then?” he challenged. “Why him and not another?”

“Do you have to ask?”

Marcus looked away. The sun was setting, heralding the beginning of another sleepless night. Marcus had never feared the night before in his life, until these last few months, these long nights of torture. It was always in the darkest hours that the true pain came, the pain that cleaved him to the bone and struck at the very core of his soul.

“Take him to your bed,” Uncle Aquila continued, more gently. “He'll warm you, if nothing else. He knows his duty.” I've explained it to him, went unsaid.

Marcus said nothing, and eventually Uncle Aquila let him be, let him alone to the encroaching darkness. Marcus had no appetite for dinner, no strength to move from his seated position. Going to the arena had been a mistake; his leg ached more than ever with the exertion, a bone-deep ache that reached up into his spine, coiling its way across the muscles of his back. He heard the rumble of voices elsewhere in the house and hoped – no, prayed – that Uncle Aquila was not giving Esca further instructions.

Esca returned soon after, bearing a lighted lamp in one hand and Marcus' dinner in the other. He set the lamp on its stand and the food on the small table near the door and then stood in the doorway with his eyes carefully averted and his body tense and unmoving and Marcus felt sick all over again. He was not – would not be – a man who would take his pleasure in one who had no choice.

“I'm not hungry,” he said shortly. “You can take it away.”

“I was told to make sure you ate it.”

“Are you my slave or my uncle's?”

Something passed across Esca's face then, too quickly for Marcus to make sense of. “I serve you,” he said, very quietly, and he crossed the distance between them in three quick steps and dropped to his knees at Marcus' side.

His breath was warm against Marcus' unwounded thigh, hitching when Marcus' hand brushed the curve of his ear. It was a lie, what he'd said, what he'd claimed. He did have a use for Esca, a desperate shameful want it would disgrace him to act on.

“I will serve you,” Esca said again. “If you wish it.” He was still not meeting Marcus' eyes and, suddenly, Marcus very much wanted to see his face, see what expression rested there. He fitted his hand to the curve of Esca's jaw, tilting Esca's face up toward him even as he resisted the urge to smooth away the stubborn set of Esca's mouth.

So proud, his slave. So determined to give no quarter. Yet behind the stubborn pride there was despair; Marcus had seen it in the arena and he saw it now and the knowledge that he and he alone was to blame for a good part of that despair dampened the burn of lingering desire as quickly as one might snuff out a lamp.

“My wish is that you forget everything my uncle may have told about your duties here,” Marcus told him. “And you can eat whatever it is you've brought in that bowl and then you can sleep.” He felt the slight flinch as his thumb rubbed over Esca's bruised cheek but there was no complaint, no protest, though he must have been in pain from the beating he had received in the arena. “You must be tired.”

“I thought I would die today,” Esca said. “I have no wish for sleep.”

“Then stay and keep me company for a while, if you like. I promise,” Marcus added, “That you will rest safe from me tonight and for as long as you are my slave.”

Esca's carefully blank expression did not waver but Marcus thought he glimpsed a subtle shift in posture, the slightest hint of something new in those pale eyes, something that flushed Marcus with a new warmth that had nothing to do with shame.

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heofona gehlidu

April 2011

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