This is entirely baracilla's fault, for telling me I ought to write a story called "Auction Block."
With that prompt, how could I resist writing some Davus/Eucleides preslash?
......I'm going to the special hell. ^^;;
WARNING: This is unbeta'ed and was written in about 15 minutes. Please forgive any mistakes I've made. ^^;;
He didn't know what to expect. His life had recently become strange to him. Ever since the Romans had come, burning, pillaging and capturing, he had felt as though he were walking through some horrible dream. He supposed that he was lucky to be alive, but the supposition was detached, devoid of any emotion. If you asked him, he would have answered honestly that he might be better off dead. This was a situation he knew nothing of, and he did not like things he didn't know.
He was to be a slave, kept for his knowledge.
He supposed it wouldn't be a terrible life; certainly not as hard as the lives of the slaves kept simply for their physical strength. It was just that the idea of being owned by another human being was repulsive.
He shivered slightly. He couldn't tell whether this was from revulsion at the dingy, darkened room in which he stood, crowded together among the rest of the chattel waiting for sale, or from sheer terror at his unknown future. He cast an eye around the room, looking for something reassuring, some kinder sight to prevent him from breaking down.
The others, the pitiable examples of humanity standing near him, were nearly uniform in their fear. Every face looked the same, every stance was similarly huddled, as if searching for some meager protection against the dark future. He nearly closed his eyes against the hopelessness around him...
...And then he stopped short.
One man, young, but with a weathered, too-old look about him, stood tall amongst the rest. It was clear that he had been enslaved previously, perhaps for years, yet he alone had his eyes fixed, defiant, on the doorway to the auction block. I am still here, he seemed to say with every line of his strong form.
And the scholar watched him, fascinated that one such as this could still stand firm when the entire world wanted to pull him down. It was a comfort.
Still more comforting, however, was the unexpected sale of the both of them to the same master.
For the first time since his homeland had been raided, Eucleides allowed himself a slight smile.