artyartie: (rome-grief)
Four Historical!Cicero drabbles for this week's [ profile] rome100 prompt, Loss.

the heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to )
artyartie: (rome-freespeech)
Two drabbles (one Vorenus and Pullo, one Tiro and Cicero) for this week's [ profile] rome100 prompt, Body. Spoilers for 'De Patre Vostro' and 'Philippi.'

the withered leaves of our sensations )
artyartie: (rome-letmylife)
Only one drabble this week for [ profile] rome100. Set shortly before 'These Beings the Words...'


Generals and soldiers weren’t the only ones to wage war. A single voice could overpower a volley of arrows, a single pen could shatter the strength of a thousand swords.

Cicero’s hand hovered over a white expanse, where flickering lamplight cast hesitant shadows. So many years since he had taken up the charge, an imperator of passions and ideals, and so much grief in those years.

He no longer had the luxury of doubt. Brutus and Cassius struck down the first tyrant with their daggers; Cicero would strike down the second with his best and only weapon – his words.
artyartie: (cicero-icicero)
Two more Cicero (pre-series) and Brutus drabbles for [ profile] rome100, with the prompt of 'Desire.'

Cicero wonders at what moment he first loved his wife. Not their wedding night - he still flushes at the remembrance of fumbling hands and the impatience in her eyes. It was a gradual thing, his love, like struggling with a new language for years only to hear it, suddenly, from his lips.

He should die in her arms, not in bitter exile. The sun flickers through the window and he closes his eyes, denies this day has come. Yet his longing that all will be right is stronger, however faintly, than the desperate desire to remain forever with her.


The vaulted Stoic freedom felt nothing so much like a cage, only with bars Brutus couldn’t see. But he could feel them, twisting about, threatening to crush him at any moment.

Living life without desire had once been so easy. He was never disappointed, for there was nothing in which to be disappointed. And now –

His mother’s plots, Cassius’ pleading – their desires were those invisible bars, closing around him. The graffiti, that damn note, the eager gleam in Cicero’s eyes, the guarded caution in Caesar’s-

What good was it to live without wants if he could not live without resistance?
artyartie: (rome-powerless)
Written for [ profile] rome100, prompt "Past."

The burnished gold of his ancestors’ death masks, glistening in the torchlight, frighten the young boy. Generations of both Junii and Servilli, watching him with solemn expectation. He has learned to return their stares with a calm gaze and unquivering lip – his mother’s sharp look of disapproval when he first whimpered under the weight of his own history hit him like a blow across the cheek.

“One day, your image will join them,” his mother says, kneeling behind him, her hands on his small shoulders. Brutus imagines his own face, older and silent and stern, staring back at him.


The sun beat down on his back, but the young boy felt no discomfort. He was gawky, all arms and legs, his head bobbling precariously on a thin neck. His blue eyes, however, were as bright as the summer sky, a scroll clutched tight in his small hands.

While some of the Greek was unfamiliar, certain words almost burned into the page, as if from Aristotle’s own hand. Ethos, pathos, logos. The tools of rhetoric and the orator. The power of words, the very words of power. Other boys played at soldier; Marcus Cicero desired a far more important future.
artyartie: (Default)
For the [ profile] rome100 challenge, Future. Two futures which never happenned to two very different men.

It wasn’t hubris if he succeeded.

And he succeeded, in spite of every obstacle before him. Mark Antony and his ambition, Cicero’s harangues in the Senate, Brutus and his-

It still made his heart ache, Brutus’ betrayal. Caesar had mercy, when he could afford it, but the treachery of the man who had once been like a son could not be forgiven. Servilla followed her son soon after, and some nights her curses still rang in his ears.

Yet these were bearable costs, to forge his own destiny. To craft the very future of Rome, to earn them both immortality.


He never should have fled his villa into yet another exile. His death would have held some honor, at least. His life now held nothing but shame.

Antony’s death brought no satisfaction. Octavian was far more dangerous than he ever imagined, no mere boy the Senate could use. The day of his triumph, Cicero came home and held a sword to his belly, but could not drive it in.

With this latest failure, he finally abandoned Rome, slunk back to his villa. He drank too much and wrote too little, of futures that never happened and courage he never had.
artyartie: (Default)
Written for [ profile] rome100. Set during 'Philippi.' If you can't tell, I'm on a Brutus and Cicero kick lately.


Brutus wonders how Cassius can sleep so soundly. His dreams are haunted by lurid visions and aching doubts, and when he awakens to the bright Grecian sun his first thought is I shouldn’t be here.

He shares this with no one; it wouldn’t do to be seen as indecisive. The road back home doesn’t allow for regret, but Brutus still allows himself to feel it. Still rails against his mother’s machinations, Cicero’s flattery, Cassius’ ever-present encouragement.

Yet he wonders if he would have found this path of his own accord, where he would have no one but himself to blame.


The night air assails Cicero, unexpectedly cold for so late in summer. The wind rattles the boughs of the peach trees, flings the rosemary against the statuary.

He should find comfort here, but it is hollow. Nights rarely bring sleep, and when he sleeps, his dreams leave him shaking. Even this nightly vigil brings no peace, and instead of the music of the spheres, he only hears echoes of his own failures.

The stars give a weak, silvery light, and yet they burn with accusation. The stars fill him with regret, with shame, and they are countless in the heavens.
artyartie: (Default)
Theme: "Senses"
Written for [ profile] rome100

The skin of the peach caressed his hand, soft as the hairs of a baby’s head. His wife regarded the luminous fruit with wide eyes, reaching out her hand to take it.

“Peaches? How did you get these?”

“You don’t want to know.” He smiled at her and took a bite, the flesh juicy and succulent, all the sweetness of summer in a single mouthful. His wife closed her eyes in bliss, pressed a hand to her belly, just beginning to swell.

“We’ll plant a tree.” Cicero leaned over and kissed Terentia, sticky fingers tangling in the curls of her hair.


artyartie: (Default)

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