*stares* But we can't be men! We're women!
*nods emphatically* Men are for loving and fighting and looking after, not for being. We'd be lost if we were men.
*nods* If we'd been men, we wouldn't have been goddesses, calling the crowd to adore us, only gladiators, calling them to watch us die.
If we'd been men, we wouldn't have had any power over the lust of the foremen.
If we'd been men, Slate wouldn't have loved us and helped us escape.
If we'd been men, we wouldn't have been able to pretend to be whores to hide Jared.
If we'd been men, we wouldn't have had Mama Marlenusia, wouldn't have been able to learn at her knee.
If we'd been men, we might have ended up in the mines instead of the Arena.
If we'd been men, we might have been one of the boys the Slave Killer used and killed.
If we'd been men ... we would still have loved each other, though, Nira-nai. Little boys in the men's block, hand in hand.
*tilts head, smiles* Yes. And I would have killed the Slave Killer for you, Ara-love, if he touched you.
*laughs, proud* And I would have seduced him for you, Nira-nai, to let you fight in the Arena.
*fierce* I would have carried you out of the mines in my arms, if they sent you there.
*vicious* I would have broken the gates with my hands, to get us free. *grabs Nira by the back of the head, pulls their foreheads gently together* Die free, one way or another, Nira-nai, sister-soul.
*kisses her softly, laughing a little* Brother-soul, too, Ara-love. Hand in hand, to heaven's gates, and man or woman, we will have them open to receive us!
*grins, biting her lover's lips gently* Gods?
And Goddesses, all at once! *laughs* Are we not magnificent enough for both?
*grins* We are, Nira-nai. We are!