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Walk of Atonement (Claudia Livia)
- A day after Facing you demons (november 62 AD)
Deep shame was what Secundus felt at his inability to keep himself together in front of the enemy. He had shamed himself, having a hallucination in front of practically strangers. His family had never seen one of these attacks, he had always managed to hide himself in his chambers beforehand. But now he had failed, he had not seen the warning signs in time. This attack had caught him off guard and had been a serious one at that. In the best case he would only be staring at some point in the distance, strange but not scary to anyone standing nearby.

Secundus was terrified that Rome would learn of these attacks. Who would ever respect a man who would cower at the sight of red hair or started screaming in terror in the middle of the night? It was only a matter of time before his world would collapse once more at the hands of the Germans. And just like last time, there was not much he could do to stop it from happening.

He could wait no longer for the other shoe to drop and decided to visit the temple of Honor and Virtus, wanting to make an offer to them in hope that the damage to both his reputation and honour would not be damaged too much. And if that was impossible, to give him the courage to bear the whispers, stares and cruel jokes. Secundus felt absolutely miserable at the thought of his affliction made public. He did not want to approach the temple, unwilling to have to face his failure. Instead, he tried to postpone it as much as possible, pacing around.
Claudia completed her charity work for the day and to wind things down she visited the temples to pray and donate almost as a routine and of course during the day that there were the most people around to witness her piety even though she ignored all the gawking, but smiled warmly and a kind word to those brave enough to approach.

Achillia was close beside her ready to be dispatched if she found anyone dangerous, but these crowds could make anyone nervous after an assassination attempt. At least, that was months behind now and Claudia would never show fear unless it suited her nor would she ever seem vulnerable unless again it was a weapon that would work to her benefit.

She could have been carried by litter right up to the steps of the temple, but it seemed so very impersonal and that was not the image she wished to convey. After a few moments of talking and smiling to the people of Rome, she was almost towards the temple which was quieter and more peaceful and rested for a moment. She caught sight of a man who seemed rather agitated and wondered at it. Achillia had her doubts, but did not have a chance to voice them as Claudia drew closer to the man.

"Salve, dominus, are you all right?" She asked with curious concern.
[Image: Claudiasiggie_zpsoj1bgkec.png]
Secundus had no more time to seriously doubt his decision to come here, before a noble woman came up to him and started speaking. "Salve, dominus, are you all right?" ''Yes...no... I mean yes'' Secundus sighed and rubbed his temple. Was he doing alright? No, not at all. He had shamed his whole family by acting like a complete lunatic in front of that German. Was he going to mess up a second time this week? In that case he could better return to Germania to put an end to his public humiliation in Rome.

''It seems I've angered the gods and I've come to make an offering to appease them. It seems one of my ancestors must have seriously offended one of them, to have me punished like this.'' He said with a sad smile. Secundus had heard the story about Publius Quinctilius Varus, the man who had lost three entire legions in Germania. Perhaps the curse had been passed on to him after his older brother had died at a young age. ''I apologise for my rudeness. My name is Secundus Quinctilius Varus.'' Secundus had no idea who the woman in front of him was, he could have used Tertius knowledge for that. His absence had made him unaware of all important figures in Rome though he did his best to catch up. The woman looked young, so there was a good chance they had not met before he had left for Germania.
Claudia noted the man’s agitation and continued to look concerned. “Sometimes deep breaths help calm the nerves along with the pins and prickles that stiffen the hands,” she said calmly in a gentle voice. It was how she coped when she was overwhelmed most times being the center of everyone’s attention. That and just eventually ignoring everything except for the few people she was talking to. You would think growing up around it would eventually get a person used to it.

A sweet smile appeared showing warmth in her blue eyes, “Well met, Varus. I do hope you are feeling a bit better. Ah, my name?” She looked about noticing the people whispering as they caught sight of her and then drew closer towards the man. “If you would be so kind to make up for your rudeness by escorting me inside? When you are calmer, I shall divulge my name. It would only bring further agitation if I it now.” Her eyes twinkled as she continued to speak lightly, calmly and even a bit playfully to put the man at ease.
[Image: Claudiasiggie_zpsoj1bgkec.png]

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