Story from time of the Roman legions
|The two legionnaires had just arrived back in camp, at Cyrhrus in Syria, headquarters of the tenth Frentensis Legion. The campaign against Parthia had been a vicious one, this time round. They had both lost friends, seeing them die or by loss of limbs, removed from Legionary service. So, they walked in a grim silence indifferent to the harsh sun. Both men were fierce and brave in combat against the enemy. They had never gotten on in camp, especially after a few drinks. Both were taller, broader, and stronger than most. They came from different worlds. The one a blond beast, from Germania, who only spoke bad Latin and slurred his words. The other a natural born, dark haired, Italian, with the built-in sense of superiority, that his Roman heritage entailed. They both bore scars from fighting each other, as well as the enemy. The last fight had been over a comment that the 'Roman' had made over the 'Barbarians' origins relating to his mother. He had said it to provoke him and because after a few drinks he was itching for a fight and he knew that only the Barbarian could take the kind of punches he gave.
The Barbarian had scarred the Romans face, with a retort from a ringed fist and the Roman had broken the Barbarians nose, which he had then reset with a grunt himself.
A pretty, young, six-year-old girl broke the silence. She was blonde and small but loud and excited.
"Daddy, daddy you are home," she rushed into his arms.
"Hey Munchkin," the Barbarian cooed gently, holding her in his arms. She talked incessantly of all the things he had missed when away. Babbling on, intermittently hugging him, while she did so. Finally, she turned her shiny, blue eyes to the large man standing next to him.
"Hey Daddy is this your friend? What is his name?"
The Barbarian was about to reply, but did not know the Romans name, even after fighting with him for 7 years. He had always called him 'Roman'. There was an awkward silence.
It was the Roman that surprised him with his answer.
"Hi Munchkin, my name is Gaius and yes I am your Daddy's friend," the Roman spoke in an uncharacteristically soft voice.
"My name is not Munchkin silly, it is Sophie."
The Roman and Barbarian laughed together and Sophie giggled in the middle, pleased with herself for making these two big men laugh and loving the attention.
Later the Barbarian spoke to the Roman.
"My name is Cedric, what changed your mind about me Gaius?"
"We have fought together many years now, we are as fierce, brave and skilled as each other, we have fought each other also but you know when to stop. Seeing you with your daughter, I saw a real man, unafraid to be gentle with those weaker than himself, whom he loves. That is the kind of man I can call my friend"
Cedric held out his arm which was grasped by Gaius.
"Self-control, courage, honor, and gentleness. These are also reasons for me to call you friend brother."