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Runaway Lesson (Flavia, Darius)

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COLLIS PALATINUS » Domus Claudialis » Runaway lesson [Flavia, Darius]
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Runaway lesson [Flavia, Darius]
Post by piso on Mar 29, 2009, 12:56pm

Why was he so nervous? This was only a teaching job. It was exactly the job he had wanted, too. A noble family had hired him to teach one of their children, and they were likely going to pay him very well. Then again, the family who had hired him wasn't just any noble family - it was the noble family. The royal family. And that meant that if Piso did poorly, or made someone important very angry, he might not live to reap the rewards of his hard work. This made the actual job of teaching very nervous-making for Piso, who considered twenty years to be a pretty stingy amount of years to be alive. He'd never even seen the ocean! And he might die! Because of some kid!

The man realized that he had to calm down before he ate his own tunic. This was what he had wanted, Piso had to remind himself, so he had no right to complain or curse his position. He needed this job. The money was too good to turn down, and, if he had turned down the job, would he have been punished anyway for his petulance? Perhaps it would have been seen as an insult to refuse a job in the royal household. It was an honor, after all. Or so he had been told many times by the servants who had given him a crash course on working in the palace.

When he felt the grip of terror take hold of him, he had to remember why he was doing this, and for whom. If Piso ever wished to see his sister again, he had to remain strong and steadfast in his new position. He could buy her freedom with the money he made. He could buy her a house with the money he made, if he actually managed to save that much. Piso kept this thought in mind as he looked over the lesson plan he had made. The man knew he was to be teaching the daughter of the empress - a prospect which had both flattered and terrified him - and he knew the girl was very young, only six or seven, if he recalled correctly.

Personally, he would have preferred to teach someone older. Teenagers, while they could be horrible trouble-makers if they set their minds to it, usually had a larger attention span and at least a remedial ability to control their tempers. Little children were different. They were demanding and selfish. They thought only of themselves and how they could make other people miserable for their own enjoyment. This was the opinion Piso had formed after years living with his three younger siblings. He had to take these facts into consideration before simply diving into his new work.

So, as he stood before a map of the current Empire, nervously intertwining his fingers and then untwining them as he thought of how to begin, Piso reminded himself to tread carefully with the young girl who was now his student. The room he had been given to teach in was spacious and bright, sunlight flowing in from the large windows off to his left. Piso appreciated the good lighting. It gave him a flicker of hope. Trying to keep his voice as even and strong as possible (and somewhat succeeding), he looked to his young student and asked her, "Do you know the story of how Rome came to be?" He asked this both out of curiosity for how much the girl knew, and because, if she didn't know, he could segway into his lesson with a fair amount of ease. Re: Runaway lesson [Flavia, Darius]
Post by flavia on Mar 29, 2009, 1:07pm

Flavia nodded not half-paying attention to the teacher who stood before her. She had absolutely no wish to go to lessons, Demi was gone, and she had an Uncle to go play with there was utterly no point in staying here! “Dari told me before.” She said absently speaking of her brother. Honestly, Flavia didn’t care how Rome came to be all she cared about was going to play with her Uncle Lalieus and finding out where her nurse went to. It had only been a few days since her nurse disappeared but Demi wasn’t coming back that much was clear.

“Did Claudius tell you to be my tutor?” She asked suddenly. Flavia knew well to be careful when she spoke of her stepfather but she would never call him anything but Claudius unless her mother started yelling… even then it was only for a bit. “Mommy wouldn’t make me have a tutor.” The young girl knew that was a lie she had a tutor before just one she liked unlike this newcomer. “My nurse Demi made him be nice too but she’s gone. And we were supposed to go to Grandma Augusta’s today; I wasn’t supposed to have a lesson. I was supposed to help Grandma with her garden instead of learning my lessons. And Dari was supposed to take me 'cause he had to talk to Grandpa about something.”
Re: Runaway lesson [Flavia, Darius]
Post by piso on Mar 29, 2009, 2:57pm

Girls sure do talk a lot, Piso thought, as the girl went on and on about how she obviously didn't want to be present for her lessons, and he thought of his sister, who could ramble on for all of Rome if given the right subject. That thought made him smile, which was a bit odd considering the situation. He didn't find the need to explain himself, though, so he simply continued to listen to his student's protests. "Your parents wished for me to tutor you," he replied to her question, making sure to say parents so she would know that included her mother. Even if he hadn't known already she was lying about her mother's wishes, he could sense that she was simply trying to get out of the lesson anyway.

"I was told that you were supposed to do your lessons. I heard absolutely nothing about you going to visit your grandmother to help with her gardening," Piso countered her argument calmly. She was a kid, of course she wouldn't want to listen to him or pay attention to her lessons. That was natural, and to be expected. He knew also that the fact that she was part of the royal family made her have a certain authority that most children wouldn't have, and that made teaching her more difficult for Piso. He didn't want to upset her, but he didn't want to shirk from his duties, either. "I know that it might not be very interesting to you, but it is important that you know the history of the Empire. It's very much a part of who you are, even if you find it dull. Now, can you repeat to me the story of how Rome was born?" Piso spoke gently, but in a way that didn't patronize the girl. Re: Runaway lesson [Flavia, Darius]
Post by flavia on Mar 29, 2009, 4:04pm

“Claudius isn’t my father.” She glared. Flavia had heard her mother say before she didn’t have a backbone but implying Claudius was her father was the one thing she would not stand for. “Papa has my tutor we had to leave him with Papa when Claudius made Mommy marry him and we had to move here.”

Looking bored she glanced at him, “Numitor and Amulius got the throne from their father and Amulius was jealous and killed Numitor but Numitor had a daughter that her uncle made into a Vestal Virgin, and when she got a baby in her belly he got mad and threw the babies into the Tiber but the babies were Mars’ sons and he got back at Amulius and Romuls became the first ruler of Rome… or something.” Okay she paid attention to Darius but that still didn’t mean she really cared about any of it. “Can I go get Dari now? I already know today’s lesson and I wanna go see my Grandma Augusta.”
Re: Runaway lesson [Flavia, Darius]
Post by piso on Mar 29, 2009, 4:26pm

"Sorry. Your mother asked me to teach you, and I assumed your...,well, that the emperor wished it as well, but I didn't ask." He nearly flinched at her angry response. It hadn't been ten minutes and already he had hit a nerve with the girl. Piso hadn't realized that her stepfather was such a tender topic with the girl. How could he? No one told him anything except brief lessons over proper protocol. That didn't help him to know how to handle the child he was supposed to be teaching. He had to do that himself. "Did you like your old tutor?" he asked her carefully. Piso wasn't certain if it was a dangerous question, but he decided to take a chance.

A small smile crept onto Piso's lips when he heard her fast spoken repeat of the story. He supposed he shouldn't be happy over her complete apathy for history, but Flavia was being so impudent about it that he couldn't help but find it rather funny. "Good. You know the legend behind the founding of Rome. Now, do you know the real story? Do you know the history of the people who came before the founding of this empire? Do you know the glories of the imperial family, and their indiscretions? When you know all this, and more besides, then you'll have no need of me. But it is my duty to help you learn as much as possible, not just about your own little world, but the greater world around us." He shuffled the papers he had brought with him, glancing at his lesson plan, but not really looking at it. "You can see Darius when we've finished this lesson, unless my employers tell me otherwise."Re: Runaway lesson [Flavia, Darius]
Post by flavia on Mar 29, 2009, 4:37pm

“He just wanted Mommy. He doesn’t care about Junus, or Dari, or me. We wanted to stay with Papa but he wouldn’t let us. He said we had to move here with Mommy.” She scowled. Flavia nodded at his question. “Dari got rid of his ‘cause he’s going with Grandpa to Gaul, and Junus should be going soon but I got a new tutor and my nurse is gone. It’s just you and Claudius’ scary guards.”

“Why does it matter?” Flavia knew she wasn’t supposed to ask any of her tutors, or her nurse, or the guards but the seven year old saw no point in any of this. “Dari told me about Cesar and his Egyptian Queen and stuff. I know about it. All I’m going to do is get married and have babies like Deci, Grandma and Mommy. Dari is gonna be Emperor when Claudius dies and Junus is going to be like Grandpa. I don’t need lessons.” She stood up walking toward the window. Her mother would kill her if he told of any of this. “Besides Dari can teach me.”
Re: Runaway lesson [Flavia, Darius]
Post by piso on Mar 29, 2009, 5:23pm

"Oh. That must have been very hard for you," Piso said, because he knew not what else to say. He felt a sudden pang of sympathy for the little girl. It sounded as if she had already been through a lot of pain, and she was still so young. Piso could not imagine what it would be like to be forced to leave someone so precious behind. He had had someone torn from him, but he had the chance to find her again. This little girl might not have that chance. Piso tilted his head when he heard himself being grouped in with the emperor's scary guards, but he decided not to be insulted by it. "I'm sorry if you don't like your new caretakers, but I'm sure they're all trying their best for your own good." I know I'm trying..., he thought with an imperceptible sigh.

"History matters because it tells us who we are, and why we're here. It tells us about the people and the struggles that made it possible for us to live the lives we do today," Piso answered, shocked that someone could actually question why history mattered. How could it not matter? Without holding onto history, human beings would still be making the same mistakes again and again that they made when man first walked the earth. He didn't say all this, though, because he doubted that it would get through to her. Maybe it took someone as intellectually obsessed as Piso to understand, but he just couldn't see how someone wouldn't want to know about the past. "Even if you seem to know how your life is going to map out, don't you want to learn more just to be a more accomplished person? To learn something new is to hold another piece of the world." He sighed again, this time without trying to hide it. "And isn't her brother busy enough with his own problems?" Piso muttered under his breath. Re: Runaway lesson [Flavia, Darius]
Post by flavia on Mar 29, 2009, 5:38pm

“I just want to go home. I can’t even go see Papa without my nurse or Mommy or Dari. It’s not fair. I’m not a baby anymore if I have to go to lessons I can take care of myself. Even my cousin is allowed to go by herself her mommy isn’t married to the crazy emperor though.”

“I’m just going to get married to a Senator when I turn thirteen it doesn’t really matter.” She rolled her eyes. Flavia knew what was going to happen she really didn’t care. “I don’t care about being accomplished, I want to go see my Grandma! She’s going to go back to Gaul and I won’t get to see her until Grandpa Flavius retires and he won’t even Mommy says so. He’s gonna be a General till he dies and Grandma won’t stay in Rome without him. That’s why Dari, Juni and I just met her and Grandpa. They’ve been in Gaul since Uncle Quintus was born… and he’s older than my sissie’s Mom I think. He’s mean…”
Re: Runaway lesson [Flavia, Darius]
Post by piso on Mar 30, 2009, 6:00pm

Her problems were not ones he could entirely understand. On top of his lack of experience with handling personal problems, he wasn't sure how he should react to her bitter words about the emperor or her family. Piso might have agreed with her, if she had been anyone else. One of his "radical" friends, maybe. But she was just a little girl, and there really wasn't anything he could say that would make it right. "How long have you lived here?" Piso asked, aiming for a vague enough question so that he wouldn't pull any hairs.

"How can you say that? Even if all you have to be is a wife and a mother, that doesn't mean it isn't important to get a good education." Piso had the feeling that his words might just go in one ear and out the other with this girl. She was remarkably like the girls he knew from his village, who expected the same as every other girl like them, and who never tried to change their destiny. Vespera had been the only girl he knew to want more than marriage and position, and he didn't even know where she was. He might have sighed again over this, if he didn't think himself to be becoming a sighing person.

"Your lessons must be completed before you can go anywhere. After this, you can go wherever you want. But, for now, you have to stay with me and learn what I'm trying to tell you. That is what I was told, direct orders from your mother. So, unless someone tells me differently, that's the way it has to be," Piso repeated sternly. He was growing tired of her whining, and he wanted to begin the lesson before the morning light turned into blistering heat.Re: Runaway lesson [Flavia, Darius]
Post by flavia on Mar 30, 2009, 6:12pm

“Since Claudius told Papa he wanted to marry Mommy. Right after my birthday.” She walked towards the door. I don’t wanna marry an icky man but I have to.” The girl sighed. He was so stupid. She was the Empress’s daughter what else was she supposed to want? Gods. “I don’t have a choice. I get to have babies and stay home and dress up like Mommy does. It’s boring.”

Looking back at him Flavia smiled. “Dari will then.” God he really was stupid. She wasn’t even allowed to get up with her old tutor. “I’ll be right back.” She giggled half running down the hall way toward her brother’s room. “Dari!” Walking into her brother’s room, not bothering to knock, “Save me. Mommy got my new tutor and he’s really really boring. I thought Claudius’ stories sucked but he’s really really boring.” Dashing to her brother’s bed she plopped down on the pillows. “Can I hide in here? He doesn’t know where I went and you’re supposed to take me to Grandma’s house.”

Re: Runaway lesson [Flavia, Darius]
Post by darius on Mar 30, 2009, 8:50pm

Darius had been polishing his sword when he heard his little sister's voice shrieking his name from down the hall. Then, before he could even register what was going on, she had bounded in and plopped onto his bed. He felt very fortunate that it was only his sword he was polishing at the moment, and he placed it down on a table as he rose.

"Flavia, it's not boring if you listen well.... Except mathematics. That's boring, but everything else is interesting and important." He took her hand. "Now, you have to go back to your tutor. Mater chose him for a reason, and we mustn't defy her. You know how she frowns upon disobedience." Darius gave her a look, and drew her back to her feet and toward the door. "We can't go to grandma's house if you don't finish your lesson. If you keep running away, I might have to go without you!" Re: Runaway lesson [Flavia, Darius]
Post by piso on Mar 31, 2009, 6:25pm

Piso felt an instinctual urge to comfort Flavia in her time of unhappiness, but what could he say? That's too bad, but things will get better, I'm sure. How could he make such a promise to a kid if he wasn't even sure it was true? Maybe she was right, maybe her life was only going to involve marrying some old senator when she was still just a kid, and then pumping out as many heirs as necessary for the old codger. That was almost unbearably depressing. Weren't nobles supposed to be far above the slum standard of living? So why were they treating their women exactly the same, if not worse than the poor?

"Wait, what?" he managed to say as the little girl dashed out of his classroom. Oh, what in Hades?! First she was running from the lesson, and now she was just running. Piso was frozen for a moment in shock and confusion, and then he was out his classroom like a shot. He had to find her. If he lost his student, it wouldn't even be a nice, swift death. It would be slow and torturous. Piso shivered at the thought, and looked around the hallway in an attempt to spot his runaway student. Piso couldn't spot her anywhere, and he felt a panic seize him for a moment. Where had she gone? She had said something about 'Dari', hadn't she? But where was he? Piso turned in place in the hall, as if the little girl would come running from the other direction right at him. Well, he could hope, couldn't he?Re: Runaway lesson [Flavia, Darius]
Post by flavia on Mar 31, 2009, 7:42pm

“Dari, it’s boring though. I hate lessons.” She tried to pull her hand out of his as they walked towards the door. “She’s already gonna spake me just take me to Grandma’s I’ll do my lessons when I get home. Or I’ll go to Daddy’s and do my lessons with my real tutor. Demi already ran away or something everybody’s leaving.” She crossed her arms over her chest glaring at her brother all the while she was following him. “ ‘Cause of stupid Claudius. We had to leave Daddy and everybody. It’s no fair.”

Gods if she was going to get in trouble did he really think she was going to not at least make it pay off? “I don’t wanna go to my lessons.” Flavia glared at her brother as they made it into the hallway. The moment she saw her tutor the seven-year-old hid behind her brother pleading to the gods her tutor didn’t see her. “They’re boring.”
Re: Runaway lesson [Flavia, Darius]
Post by darius on Apr 1, 2009, 1:11am

"Your education, Flavia, has naught to do with Claudius." Darius said, very firmly, and tugged her in a less than playful manner down the hallway. He did not ever recall being so opposed to learning, and so he was not sympathetic to his sister's reluctance. He was more like their Mater, than that.

"You!" He called down the hallway toward the tall, frenzied young man with the curly brown hair. "Are you my sister's tutor?" He gestured toward Flavia so the man would know that this was, indeed, his sister and then he sized Piso up with his Mater's green eyes.

"It seems you've lost your charge. How long have you been in our employ?"Re: Runaway lesson [Flavia, Darius]
Post by piso on Apr 1, 2009, 3:42pm

The frantic tutor had been prepared to have an actual panic attack if a voice hadn't reached his ears. He turned quickly to catch sight of a young man with Piso's runaway student by his side. For a moment, Piso was too relieved to consider how accusatory the young man's questions were. The fact that Flavia was all right, and hadn't somehow escaped through a secret passageway or some other such nonsense, was a great comfort, and Piso allowed himself to relax for a moment.

"I am her tutor, yes," Piso replied at last, walking toward the two with some hesitance. At least, I would be her tutor if she'd let me be, the man thought, but didn't say aloud. He decided it was best not to share any complaints about his young student just yet, especially not to this young man who had such an air of authority. Piso had not met him, but he deduced that the young man was the 'Dari' that Flavia had spoken of, which made him a member of the royal family. Therefore, someone to watch out for.

He sighed and ran a hand through his messy hair. "I'm sorry, she bolted as I was trying to begin the lesson and I couldn't catch her," Piso explained to Darius' 'lost' comment. There wasn't much Piso could do to excuse himself, but he thought he'd say the truth. He blinked his large brown eyes at Darius' question, as if he didn't quite comprehend it, and then he answered, "Three days, if that. This is my first real day of teaching."Re: Runaway lesson [Flavia, Darius]
Post by flavia on Apr 1, 2009, 6:47pm

“Then why did I have to get a new tutor Dari? He’s the reason we had to leave Papa, I’ll do my lessons if I can go home.” She glared as she was pulled along by her older brother. “I don’t wanna go to lessons Dari it’s boring!” Gods why did he have to be such a traitor? He was supposed to be on her side not the tutor’s. The brother who could… would protect her from most things wouldn’t protect her now. “Mommy’s already gonna spank me I don’t wanna go to lessons to Darius. You know she doesn’t like when I don’t listen to my nurse and the tutors. Juni’s the only one she never yells at ‘cause he always does his lessons.”

It wasn’t so much that Flavia hated lessons she just didn’t want a new tutor, and she wanted to go home darn it! She had no wish to live at the palace, even with her new ‘sister’. “I want Demi back and I wanna go live with Papa Darius.”

“You’re mean.” She glared up at her brother hiding behind his legs. “I did not bolt. I told you I was going to Dari’s room. I’m not gonna do lessons I already know what you were telling me. History is boring, and I don’t need to know the rest of it.”
Re: Runaway lesson [Flavia, Darius]
Post by darius on Apr 1, 2009, 8:26pm

"Flavia, don't be daft." Darius said, firmly, then regarded the tutor. His momentary annoyance was willed away, as he looked the man over. He didn't look much older than Darius himself.

"Well, then we'll have to forgive you a runaway pupil, this time, new as you are." Darius said, offering a friendly smile. "Give her an inch and she'll take a mile, to be sure." He ruffled Flavia's curls, "Won't you, Soror Mea?" He crouched down to face her again, speaking more kindly now; His 'good brother' voice:

"You know Papa would want you to go to your lessons, just as well as Mater and I do. Papa loves Mater because she is clever as well as beautiful. Don't you wish to be clever so you won't attract a brutish husband? History is the most important of all subjects, Flavia. It teaches us not to repeat stupid mistakes of the past. It teaches us to be better. To be civilised. And that is what Roma is all about, ken?"

As he stood up, he took note of the tutor's height.

"Gods, man, you're almost as tall as I am! What are you, a Celt?"Re: Runaway lesson [Flavia, Darius]
Post by piso on Apr 2, 2009, 3:27pm

"Right, you simply ran out of the classroom without my permission. That's completely different from bolting," Piso responded in dead-pan to the girl's complaint against his choice of words. He was feeling too annoyed to hold back on sarcasm, even if he knew it would be best to simply ignore the girl's whining. The tutor was too irked by Flavia's rudeness to hide it, although he did ease up slightly when Darius began speaking to him.

"Thank you for understanding," the brunette teacher replied, relieved. He smiled softly at the familial affection expressed by the young man. It made him think of his own little sister, although the age gap between his sister and himself was not so wide as the one between Flavia and Darius. Piso could still remember, though, when he and Vespera had been little, and he'd teased her like any brother would. A sadness passed over his features for a moment as he remembered this, but it disappeared as Piso forced himself back to reality.

Piso was pleased that the other young man was defending the subject the teacher loved best, even if he found certain aspects of Darius' defense to go against his own principles. How sad it was that the poor little girl might be set up with some ignorant brute! In Piso's opinion, the girl was too young to be thinking about marriage anyway, but she already seemed to know what was to come. He supposed he was in no place to judge how noble marriage worked. It wasn't like marriage in the slums had been much better, as he knew from his own experience. The difference between himself and Flavia, it seemed, was that Piso had managed to escape. Flavia might never get that chance.

The teacher was tugged from his reverie by Darius' exclamation. He looked at himself for a second, wide-eyed, as if he'd never noticed how tall he was. Piso laid a hand over his own chance and then looked at the young man across from him. "I am? Oh, I suppose I am. Tall, I mean. Not a Celt." He realized that he must have sounded a bit lost, but it was too late for that to be helped. "My father is taller than I am," Piso finished, sheepishly.Re: Runaway lesson [Flavia, Darius]
Post by flavia on Apr 2, 2009, 9:29pm

“I’m not daft.” She glared at her brother. “And I don’t wanna be like Mommy, and Papa won’t make me marry someone I don’t want to.” Flavia may only have been seven but she already knew she had her father wrapped around her little finger. She was after all his favorite no matter what the boys thought. “I’m gonna get to pick my own husband Dari and I might not get married ever ‘nyway. Boys are icky and stupid.” Hiding behind her brother’s legs as best she could from Piso Flavia eyed the man.

“I told you I was gonna go get my brother gosh. It wasn’t like I was running away completely. And I told you I knew the lessons ‘nyway. It’s not like anyone cares if we know who founded Rome and all that stuff.”
Re: Runaway lesson [Flavia, Darius]
Post by darius on Apr 4, 2009, 10:09am

"Flavia, obviously several people care if you know those things. Including me." He looked to Piso, exasperated. This must have been why Lucilla had largely avoided him until he reached the age of... Well, sentience.

"How about you sit through your lesson and do what your tutor tells you, and I'll stay in there with you. So, if he's really teaching you useless things like you say, I'll make sure we get you a new one who isn't." He winked, conspiratorially to Piso, hoping he realised Darius' threat was disingenuous and completely for Flavia's benefit.Re: Runaway lesson [Flavia, Darius]
Post by piso on Apr 4, 2009, 11:02am

Piso looked worried, for a moment, that he was indeed going to lose his job. Royalty had extraordinarily high standards, didn't they? What if he really wasn't as good as he thought he was. Perhaps his fate was already decided, and this young prince was only toying with him. He wouldn't put it past these cold-hearted royals. He'd only been in the main city for a week, and already he had seen how twisted nobility could be. Piso might have continued on this bitter trail of thought if he hadn't caught the wink directed to him by Darius. That assured him, at least, that the young man was trying to help him out.

He gave a grateful smile to Darius, and then looked back toward his make-shift classroom. The teacher cleared his throat, almost mocking properness, and motioned toward his classroom. "Then let us go back to the classroom, and we can see if I'm worth what your mater is paying me." And I truly hope I am, Piso added inside his head. He'd never been so self-conscious before. When he was with Flavia, it had been bad enough, but, now, with the thought that Darius was going to be watching him, he felt an unaccustomed anxiety grow in his chest.Re: Runaway lesson [Flavia, Darius]
Post by flavia on Apr 4, 2009, 2:19pm

"Just 'cause you like it doesn't mean I do Dari. You act like Claudius and Manius" She stuck her tongue out at him. "Can we go see Papa after lessons too? I'm bored sitting at home there's nothing to do Dari. Can we go before we go see Grandma? 'Cause I have to tell him somethin' too and Mommy won't let me go by myself. She said I'm too little to go to Daddy's alone."

"Fine..." Glaring up at her brother then to her tutor Flavia stalked towards the classroom sitting down at her desk. "Please please please please please don't tell Mommy I ran away though. I'm gonna get in big trouble." It was rare any of the imperial children disobayed their mother, bad things happened. Only a few more years and she'd be free of tutors forever!Re: Runaway lesson [Flavia, Darius]
Post by darius on Apr 4, 2009, 2:50pm

Darius had a lot of things to tend to, and a day with Flavia was not going to bring him any closer to the throne he sought above all else. And yet, it was hard to say no to his little sister when she wasn't being contrary.

"I do not act like Manius." Darius protested firmly, moving to take a seat behind Flavia. "You're fortunate I'm not acting like Mater, because she would not tolerate this behaviour. But do as your paedogogue tells you, and there's no need for Mater to know anything right now, all right? I'm right here." He gestured.

"You may proceed." He said to Piso, sitting back and turning emerald eyes up toward the young tutor. Re: Runaway lesson [Flavia, Darius]
Post by piso on Apr 4, 2009, 6:36pm

The teacher hid a smile, prompted by the interaction between brother and sister, behind his hand and began to rifle through his papers again. Where had he been before he was rudely interrupted by his student's apathy? Oh, right. The founding of Rome. Honestly, Piso would have preferred to teach some history from other cultures, but he realized that a member of the royal family had a primary need to learn of their own empire. So, he would teach this, and then move on to the things that interested him later.

"I can see that you already know the mythology of how Rome was created, thanks to your informed brother here," Piso began in as even a voice as he could, not wanting to appear even the slightest bit annoyed anymore that things had not gone as planned. At least his student was back where she was supposed to be, and he could get on with the lesson. The young tutor had to remind himself to think positively, or else he would give off the impression that he was merely a cynical, sarcastic intellectual who didn't care about anything. Which wasn't entirely true.

"However, that mythology isn't how it actually happened. Myths are, after all, only pretty stories to explain the inexplicable," the teacher continued, getting into his stride now. He literally was getting into his stride, pacing languidly in front of the large windows that allowed the sunlight to stream in. In the sun, his large eyes took on a strange tint, almost green in appearance. "Even when one can accept that mythology is only that - pretty stories - one can still feel amazed, or skeptical, over the accomplishments of real people, and the real events that shaped them."

He stopped his pacing in front of Flavia and Darius, and smiled with a twinge of confidence. Once he got rolling, it could be hard to stop him, like a boulder racing down a steep hill. "Do you know how to build a village?" he asked Flavia, and if the question wasn't so strange, it might be taken seriously. His method was odd, but he had a plan for how he might be able to get his young student interested. He only hoped it would work.Re: Runaway lesson [Flavia, Darius]
Post by flavia on Apr 4, 2009, 7:00pm

"You so act like Manius." Flavia said primly sitting down in her chair. "That's why I told Mommy we can trade you for Livia 'cause she's nicer and I want a sister but Mommy won't have a baby. What are you gonna do spank me Dari? You got in trouble the last time you hit me." She giggled, okay it had been a few years since he'd slapped her but hey she could still milk it. "You can have a new mommy if your brother is Manius too Dari, Auntie Archaita would be your Mommy then." Flavia was the only Alexander to get along with the emperor's sister. But hey Flavia was an animal person and the woman always had puppies around.

Shaking her head Flavia looked back at her brother not understanding what her tutor meant exatly. "I'm not 'aupposed to get dirty unless I'm at Grandma's helping her with her garden."Re: Runaway lesson [Flavia, Darius]
Post by darius on Apr 5, 2009, 10:44am

Darius had very recently suffered through an extremely unpleasant conversation with Manius Sabucius wherein he was chastised, condescended to, and openly called a fool by a man who (through his own idiocy) got himself arrested in his own home. It was not a good time to compare him to Manius. But Darius crossed his arms and sat back, staring at a map of the world as if it were his most loathed enemy. He said nothing in reply to Flavia, only pointed to Piso. To entertain further conversation was only to detract further from the lesson through which he strove to get Flavia.

Darius pursed his lips, when Piso began to dismiss mythologies with broad, wanton strokes. Darius was not simple-minded. He did not believe everything he was told, but he was religious. Very superstitious, he based many of his decisions on augury. He attempted to find patterns in every day life, based on which he would be able to follow the path the gods had set for him.

His eyes trailed from the map over to Piso. Re: Runaway lesson [Flavia, Darius]
Post by piso on Apr 5, 2009, 7:29pm

Piso could feel Darius' eyes on him, and it made him nervous, even if he didn't show it. He realized that speaking his opinions of religion might put him a bad light, but Piso didn't really care. He was honest to a fault. It was the only way he knew how to be. And he was a history teacher. Didn't that automatically require him to be factual? The brown eyed tutor decided that he didn't have to justify himself. Especially when he was only defending his reasoning inside his head. That was a level of crazy that Piso really didn't want to reach at this point in his life.

He could remember, though, a time when he had believed in superstitions, too. How long ago had that been? More than ten years, or so he thought. His father had never really believed in such things like higher beings or signs from the gods, but Piso's mother had been much more superstitious. She saw signs in everything, from the number of ravens perched in a tree, to the way a flower grew toward the sun. And Piso had believed in it all, because he trusted his mother. Now...did he trust her at all? Did he trust either of his parents?

The young man decided not to let himself get trapped in this depressing line of thought, because he had a duty to perform, a child to teach. He smiled at Flavia, somewhat surprised by what she said. "Really? They don't let you play outside and get dirty?" What kind of childhood is that?, he thought, catching himself after he'd accidentally voiced his surprise aloud. The tutor tilted his head toward the ceiling, as if asking the higher beings he did not even believe in to give him help in this confusing matter. "But, say, being able to play in the dirt was incredibly important to your lessons? Would you be able to then?" If not, I'm out of ideas in keeping your interest.Re: Runaway lesson [Flavia, Darius]
Post by flavia on Apr 6, 2009, 6:00pm

“Nope not unless I’m at Grandma’s house I’m not ‘apposed to get dirty ‘cause we might get a emissary or whatever they’re called and I’m not ‘apposed to be dirty and look like an urchin.” She recided nearly word for word what her new auntie had told her more than once. Okay it got annoying once and awhile but Flavia did quite like her new Auntie Archaita. It was the only cool thing other than Livia that was here. “I don’t know….”

Flavia peaked back at her brother maybe… “Dari can I?” It wasn’t unusual question from the little girl. “Or would I get in trouble, ‘cause the last time I got all messy I got in trouble.”
Re: Runaway lesson [Flavia, Darius]
Post by darius on Apr 6, 2009, 7:14pm

"I'm just here. Ask your paedagogue." Darius said, holding his hands up in neutrality. "I got dirty when I was your age." He added, thoughtfully. "Still do."

But, then, Darius wasn't supposed to be a lady. Still and all, he knew Mater had been submitted to harsher situations than Flavia was ever made to endure. Probably at a younger age. And, he had a feeling, the trials to which Lucilla had been subjected were not likely to leave one with clean hands.

It was funny how much things could change in one generation. Lucilla to Flavia. A nouveau riche, stoic-minded, Empress with a warriors heart, begot a tender, emotional little girl with no obvious desire to see blood let alone shed it. Marcus to Darius. A plebeian soldier held back by his means begot the heir presumptive to the Empire of Roma. Darius was a patrician now. An Imperial. He'd been adopted. How much could change in one generation. Or even in one year.
Re: Runaway lesson [Flavia, Darius]
Post by piso on Apr 6, 2009, 7:49pm

Like I'm the one with authority here, Piso thought as Darius basically left the decision up to him, but did not say this because he actually valued his own well-being. He had no idea if this might get them in drastic trouble or not, but his pride as a teacher was being stomped on. He would give Flavia an education if it killed him! ...and it very well might, now that he thought about it. Gulp.

"Well, it's fine with me." Obviously. I'm willing to try bloody anything at this point. He was still thinking how odd it was not to let a child play in the dirt, mud, and other facets of nature. When he was a kid, he was always covered in something disgusting. So were his brothers...and his sister! They were slum kids, it wasn't like there were many resources that they could play with. Sticks and mud were about it. Not exactly a pampered childhood.

"I'm going to show you how to build a village. Just like one of the original villages of Rome," the young teacher told Flavia with a mysterious smile. Gods don't build worlds, he remembered his father saying, people build worlds. Well, he wasn't planning to build a world, but he could at least create a model. "But we have to go outside to do it," he added, and glanced toward the exit curiously.Re: Runaway lesson [Flavia, Darius]
Post by flavia on Apr 8, 2009, 5:20pm

Grinning ear to ear she stood up. “Can we really?!” Finally an excuse to get dirty and not get in trouble at home! Okay even at home, what she considered home aka Papa’s house, she wasn’t supposed to get dirty but she still did, but there she didn’t get in trouble like she did here.

“Dari come on!” Flavia bolted out of her chair towards her brother, grabbing his hand. “I wanna go.” It wasn’t so much the actual lesson that Flavia disagreed with she just hated being stuck inside with books. True she loved reading but reading things she wanted to not lessons. Any excuse to get dirty was fine in the girl’s eyes, she loved getting messy just not when her mother would yell at her.
Re: Runaway lesson [Flavia, Darius]
Post by darius on Apr 8, 2009, 7:51pm

Darius smiled a bit, rising when Flavia came over and took his hand.

"I'm coming! No worries." He walked over to Piso with her, and raised a brow. "I'm not sure how well you know the palace, but we can go to the gardens. If you'd like I, or I'm sure Flavia, can lead the way."

The youth felt a bit out of place, here. He didn't want to step on Piso's lesson, but he knew his absence would leave Flavia frenzied and unruly. Re: Runaway lesson [Flavia, Darius]
Post by piso on Apr 8, 2009, 8:06pm

Piso was pleased that he had finally gotten his student's attention, although he knew it had nothing to do with her suddenly finding history exciting. Oh, well. As long as she was paying attention now, he could live with the fact that it was for ulterior motives. Now, if his plans worked out the way he wanted them to (he tried not to think of how many times his plans had failed), he would teach Flavia something without any serious harm coming to himself.

"Yes, please. Show the way, if you don't mind," the young tutor answered with a smile. He had the feeling that, if allowed to wander on his own, he would get lost within minutes. He inherited that from his father, he supposed, along with the refusal to ask for directions because of stubborn pride.

He was happy that Darius would be there to, at least, make sure Flavia didn't do something crazy. Piso could handle crazy, but not royal crazy. If Flavia had been a slum kid, things would have been different. Piso simply would have lifted her up by the collar and given her a good scolding while she was in mid-air, and out of kicking range. It was things like that that made tallness a great advantage.Re: Runaway lesson [Flavia, Darius]
Post by flavia on Apr 8, 2009, 8:53pm

“Come on Dari.” She tugged on her brother’s hand. Okay she wanted to get done with this lesson she wanted to go to her Grandma’s house… but she kinda wanted to get dirty too. “You’re so slow.” The young girl was half tempted to get behind him and start pushing. She hated staying inside at the very least this lesson was going to be outside in the garden, her favorite place in the palace. “Come on!”

This was certinally first time since the move Flavia actually wanted to go to her lessons, maybe this would actually be fun. “Dari come on gods…” She growled tugging on his hand.
Re: Runaway lesson [Flavia, Darius]
Post by darius on Apr 8, 2009, 9:09pm

"I have long legs. If I go too fast I'm liable to step on you." He said, smirking; But he sped up, all the same, offering another wink to Piso who trailed behind.

"So, how did you end up with this position, Paedagogue?" Darius asked, "I'm guessing the Temple Priests didn't refer you..." Judging from his irreligious statements in the lesson, thus far. Perhaps Piso was going to have Flavia dig a hole to prove there was no Tartarus underground, he thought, with an inward smile.

"You're younger than most teachers Mater hires. Are you even older than I am?" Darius could come off as being very young, rarely, but this was one of those times; He almost seemed like he was posturing for the help.Re: Runaway lesson [Flavia, Darius]
Post by piso on Apr 9, 2009, 8:17am

The young tutor walked with his companions in silence. He was thinking of how to execute this lesson properly. There were two possible scenarios, if one was to generalize, that could happen. The first possibility, he could get Flavia interested enough in what they were doing to be able to teach her something while also letting her have fun. However, the second possibility was that all of this would completely backfire, Flavia would hate him, and he would be imprisoned and/or beheaded for his efforts. Piso really hoped it wouldn't be that second one.

Piso smiled lightly at Darius' comment. So, this boy could be clever, too. Well, that was a change from the few nobles Piso had seen so far, who had their minds more on how to make money or enjoy themselves than any semblance of wit. "I was in the city, advertising my services to anyone who would listen. I believe it was one of the palace servants that found me, and I was offered the job," Piso explained with a shrug. "I didn't realize who I was going to teach until I was actually brought here, though."

"I'm twenty," the tutor answered, sounding slightly peeved. He had no idea how old Darius was, as he had forgotten parts of the run-down the servants had given him. However, he had hoped that he at least looked mature, even if it wasn't true. He sighed. Why did nothing he hoped for come true?Re: Runaway lesson [Flavia, Darius]
Post by flavia on Apr 10, 2009, 4:44pm

“Mommy will spank you if you step on me.” She glared still tugging on his hand. The one time she wanted him to actually hurry up he was slower than a donkey… “I’m not that much shorter than you are Dari gods.” Flavia rolled her eyes at her brother. “I’m almost taller than Junus is.” Gods she hated being the shortest one in the family. Uncle Lalieus was taller than she was… so where both her cousins. “I’m taller than I was when we moved away from Daddy too!”

Half paying attention to her brother and tutor Flavia stopped. “I’m the nice one too, and the cute one that’s why Mommy wanted you to be my tutor.” She giggled. “And Juni is a brat, and Dari doesn’t need a tutor anymore.” She tugged on her brother’s hand again.
Re: Runaway lesson [Flavia, Darius]
Post by darius on Apr 10, 2009, 5:16pm

Darius gave the tutor a strange look when his voice portrayed a bit of indignation over being asked his age. But before he could pursue that notion verbally or mentally, Flavia was talking again.

"Flavia, I've known Mater a sight longer than you, and I can't recall the last time she spanked me. It might have been before you were born." He said, with a smirk. "She would not spank me for stepping on you. She'd thank me. Those rhyme! Spank and thank. So you were close."

Darius straightened his posture, and looked to Piso.

"I don't know, Paedagogue, what do you think? Is Flavia a lot shorter than me, or a little?"Re: Runaway lesson [Flavia, Darius]
Post by piso on Apr 10, 2009, 5:48pm

Piso had to turn his face away to hide the smile that had popped up from the siblings' conversation. It made him miss his own siblings, and all the odd conversations they'd had. He missed when they had all been young, and the world hadn't seemed so hard. Teasing one another, playing jokes, simply laughing had all amounted to protecting them from too much sorrow. Now, with two of his siblings far away from him, and the other hidden somewhere in the city, Piso felt a distinct lack of laughter in his life. So, this pair, who managed to make him smile, were a comfort to his weary heart.

"For a girl I'd say she's tall," Piso concluded with a shrug. He did not want to get stuck between a brother-sister argument. Those never ended well. He knew that from experience, and he had often had bruises to prove it! Vespera could hit surprisingly hard when she was provoked, even though she was provoked by very meager things (in Piso's opinion).

"As of now, she might be shorter than you. But who knows? Someday, she might win in that regard," he finished with a small smile. The tutor was taking into consideration every possibility. Even if the question might not be a serious one, he chose to take it with a certain level of seriousness. It was just his way.Re: Runaway lesson [Flavia, Darius]
Post by flavia on Apr 10, 2009, 5:56pm

“You’re older but she likes me better and if Mommy won’t do it Papa will. We know I’m Papa’s princess even if Mommy might like you better, and she doesn’t, Papa likes me better ‘cause I’m cute and I’m a girl and you’re not.” She giggled. “I’m little I’m supposed to be short Dari!”

“And you’re mean Dari.” Flavia gave up on her brother taking her tutor’s hand. “He’s nice though. Grandpa thinks I’m gonna look like Grandma so I’m gonna be short…”
Re: Runaway lesson [Flavia, Darius]
Post by darius on Apr 11, 2009, 7:23am

"You're little so you're supposed to be short?" Darius looked to Piso, "You've got your work cut out for you, Tutor. Little and short are basically the same thing, dummy. That's like saying you have yellow hair, so you're supposed to be blond." He stuck his tongue out at her. "I hope synonyms are part of today's lesson..."

He smiled when she left him in favour of Piso. That was a good thing. Now that it served her to side with him, instead of Darius, perhaps his lesson would go more smoothly. All part of his strategy. Having negotiated that trade-off comforted the heir presumptive that he was fit to rule Rome. Flavia, like Rome, was not easily manipulated.Re: Runaway lesson [Flavia, Darius]
Post by piso on Apr 11, 2009, 3:18pm

"History today. Synonyms in the future," Piso replied with a light chuckle. He was rather touched that the girl would suddenly side with him. It was comforting, to think that there was a chance that his student would like him after all. Or, at least, she wouldn't hate him. That relieved some of the stress from his mind. There was still a lot for him to worry over, of course, but even the slightest easing of weight from his shoulders was a good thing.

The young tutor noticed, out of the corner of his eye, the smile on Darius lips. Had the boy planned for this switching of loyalties? It would seem so, but Piso decided not to assume. Whatever the case, he allowed himself to relax a little, and gazed around curiously at their surroundings. Piso hadn't actually seen much of the place since he'd been there. A servant had shown him to his quarters, and to his classroom, but that was about it. Apparently, Piso thought bitterly, they expected him to live only in those two places.Re: Runaway lesson [Flavia, Darius]
Post by flavia on Apr 12, 2009, 11:23am

"Wrong kind of little Dari." Flavia narrowed her eyes, looking very much like their mother. "I'm seven I'm not stupid, Juni is stupid though. He thinks he's gonna be a poet but Mommy won't let him, he's gonna be a general like Uncle Quintus, or Grandpa, or a Senator like Lucius is. You," She said sharply to Darius. "have to be an Emperor and are gonna go crazy like Claudius is."

"I'm the smart one, you're lucky he's not the one you have to teach 'cause Dari is really silly."Re: Runaway lesson [Flavia, Darius]
Post by darius on Apr 12, 2009, 12:11pm

"I question your polyseme, oh brilliant sister, but I'll grudgingly allow it now." He said with a flourishing bow. He certainly didn't agree with Flavia's assignment of traits to their sibling group, but he would express that through gratuitous use of 10 dinar words and sarcasm, rather than saying so openly.

"She thinks being Caesar is going to drive me mad." He offered to Piso, "I tend to think I'm already halfway there, and Flavia's driving the chariot, but here we are." He said, gesturing out onto the veranda. "The Imperial Gardens."

Re: Runaway lesson [Flavia, Darius]
Post by piso on Apr 12, 2009, 12:25pm

The young tutor did not reply to Flavia's opinion that being made Caesar would drive Darius to madness. In his opinion, absolute power would drive anyone mad after a while. So much responsibility! How could any one man handle it without wearing away at his mind? Piso also kept quiet about his personal opinion that the entire idea of an empire was mad enough on its own, without having a crazed ruler steering them all toward destruction. This was not the person he should say things like that to, the tutor had to remind himself. As congenial as Darius was being, the young man was still a member of the royal family, and that gave him the power to crush Piso beneath his thumb, if he saw fit to.

"Ah, wonderful!" Piso exclaimed when they made it to the gardens. He was pleased just to be outside. The fact that it was a beautiful day, and the gardens were lovely, only added to the peace of it. The young tutor tilted his face toward the sun, smiling genuinely for a moment, and almost forgetting what he had come to do. When he did remember, he turned his smile to Flavia. "Now, for this lesson, we're going to need plenty of dirt, rocks, and tree bark. I'm going to show you how to build a village, but first we need the supplies."

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