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Tiberius Claudius Sabucius

Eat, drink and be merry (Open)

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It was the nature of the Imperial family that they were always on their guard, whether it be for politics or personal safety; often both. And what's more they had to be so whilst appearing to be entirely at ease, a manner which became second nature to them. But it was pleasant to be able to relax as much as they were able, amongst their peers.

Tiberius had eaten well and drunk a modest amount of wine. Just enough to feel relaxed, but he wasn't the sort to overindulge. The ebb and flow of conversations and people had left him momentarily on his own and he reclined at his ease, a cup of fine, deep green glass in his hand, on which had been painted stylised lillies and reeds, romantically remniscient of the borders of the Nile in Aegyptus. Likely the artist had never been to that far province however. He nursed the wine in it, taking advantage of the momentary lull to people-watch. It was a careless individual that did not take not of who spoke with whom.

A slave passed by with a bowl of grapes and the young man helped himself to a handful with a nod.

(OOC: Open to anyone who might like to join him.)

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This is where I'm meant to be, thought Caecina with an inward smile. The sights and smells of the parties such as these put her at ease more than silence and peace; her eyes always had something to observe and her hands always something to do, whether holding a glass of wine, gesturing passionately as she spoke, or grasping friends in greeting. Yes, this was where the social butterfly was most at ease. She swept from group to group, perfectly melding with the mood of each cluster of young women and even adults, though she stuck to people her own age. 

 

But even the most social of young women needed a break sometimes and Caecina found herself slowly drifting to the outskirts of the room to find a place to sit and rest her tired feet. Eventually, she noticed a small cluster of seats near the wall, one of which was occupied by a young man. No matter, Caecina was just as much at ease with the opposite sex as she was with other young women. Confidently, she approached the chairs and lightly sat in one, taking care that she did not rumple her light blue chiton or darker palla. Fixing the young man with a friendly smile, she spoke, "Salve." 

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The young woman who approached and took a chair next to him exuded the easy confidence one expected in the best courtiers, as well as a casual elegance, the blues of her clothing offsetting the rich browns of her hair and eyes. She was also familiar, in the vague way of extended family, being the stepdaughter of his cousin, Flavia Juliana. Juliana of course was older than Tiberius, he was closer to Caecina’s age.

 

“Salve, Caecina.” He greeted her with a genuine, boyish grin as she settled next to him. Tiberius was maturing every day, and dressed in a fine linen tunic and toga with an edging in purple silk and gold thread the resemblance to this father's family was stronger than ever, but there were still moments when he seemed very young, on that awkward cusp. “Have you been well?” He asked, genuinely interested.

 

He had vague memories of her from his life before the purges; her father had served his, before his world had been turned upside down. But it wasn’t really until Juliana married Tuscus - likely in part as reward for his loyalty - that Caecina had come back into their circle again.

@Echo

Edited by Sarah

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Caecina paused a moment before a broader smile broke across her face. "Oh, goodness, Tiberius! I didn't realize it was you!" Briefly, her eyes swept over him; he had grown since she had seen him last and his clothes were becoming on him. She adjusted her palla and smoothed her skirt as he asked how she was. "I have been lovely, thank you! I hope you have as well?" 

 

Caecina had grown up occasionally seeing Tiberius and the other imperial children and they were some of her fonder memories. They were always fun to be around, though due to her nature she had always gravitated more toward the young men than the girls. She was thankful for Juliana marrying her father both for her guidance and her connections to the Imperials, whom Caecina had become friendly with.

 

@Sarah

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He had changed, they both had. No longer were they children, but youths growing into adulthood. Childhood innocence had been left behind long ago thanks to the purge, but now was a time when the next generation of Rome's upper classes were beginning to come into their own.

Tiberius grinned at Caecina's surprise; looking suddenly very young again. It was good to see her, one whom he counted amongst his friends as well as relatives. "I have, thank you." He replied to her question. "Busy, but well. Such is life." He shrugged easily. "It's good to see everyone together." He gestured to the crowd of Imperials, Senatores and high ranking Equestrians; the individuals likely to sway the politics of the Empire. Many of whom were also either family, or likely to become so. That didn't mean that he wasn't taking careful note of who spoke with whom.

"What's news?" He asked, genuinely interested. "What have you been up to?" Tiberius was thinking that he and Claudia should make sure that Caecina came to the palace more often.

@Echo

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Caecina blushed a little at her slip of not realizing who she was sitting next to. Of course, she had seen Tiberius earlier, though she hadn't spoken to him because he had left Juliana's side just before Caecina got there. Usually, she was good at remembering people but she had been distracted. She smiled easily at his boyish grin. It was good to see him as well. 

He replied to her question and commented that it was good to see everyone together. Caecina nodded with a smile, following his gesture with her eyes. It was a comfort, sometimes, to be surrounded by those of your own class. Caecina found these settings to be much more enjoyable than the market, wherein she was surrounded by lower class people who often frightened her. "Indeed, it is."

Tiberius then queried about Caecina, a topic she enjoyed. "Nothing much is new, I'm afraid! I haven't heard any good gossip recently, I fear my sources have dried up," she joked. "I've been doing all that you might expect of me, going to this and that party. And yourself?" Caecina reflected that she hadn't hosted a party recently and plans began to form for a party in the coming months.

@Sarah

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If Tiberius thought anything of Caecina's momentary slip, he didn't show it. There were a lot of people there, the wine had been flowing and he wasn't exactly the sort that sought attention. He was also slow to judge and not the sort to take offense over simple errors. Those who intended harm to him and his might well be another matter.

"No good gossip? Why, I'm disappointed!" He teased. But in truth he hadn't heard of much worth gossiping about either. "You'll have heard that Flavia is pregnant again. Rufia Flavia." He clarified. That was his older half-sister, making him an uncle again. He racked his brains but couldn't think of anything particularly juicy. "I'm afraid I'm not much good for gossip, Titus and I are supposed to be studying and somehow I don't seem to get invited to all these parties." His grin made it clear that his words were in jest, though sometimes it seemed that the Senatores and Equites had all the fun. No doubt some of that was the necessary protectiveness around the Imperial family, and Tiberius was never going to argue with that.

The thought sobered him. Much as he would love to have the freedom of the his peers in the noble classes, the peace brought by Caesar Quintus hadn't been long enough to fade the memory of the cost of the purge on his family. "We start the Cursus Honorum next year." That was the training that young men of the noble classes were expected to undertake, preparing them for roles in politics and leadership. "What about you? Any plans for the year?" He asked, aware that Caecina was of an age now where she too would be thinking about her future in society, including her marriage prospects. "Beyond organising a party of course. I might have to insist on an invitation." He didn't think Quintus would object to that, Caecina was practically family.

@Echo

Edited by Sarah
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Caecina grinned at his jest, playing along. "I have failed you, Tiberius. I beg your forgiveness." She accepted a goblet of wine from a passing slave and sipped it as he mentioned Flavia. "Oh, yes, of course. I do pray that she will have a safe delivery and a healthy baby." Caecina enjoyed her younger siblings and had a soft spot in her heart for babies. They were just so helpless and sweet. Then they grew to be little terrors in the forms of toddlers. Tiberius then went on to mention that he and his brother didn't get invited to parties due to their studies and Caecina laughed. Sometimes, she felt sorry for young men; they did so much more studying than Caecina or other young women did. Of course, young women in Rome learned from the elder women in their lives how to care for their homes and direct slaves, and occasionally languages, but Caecina felt that she had the easier task by far. "I understand completely, lessons are such a bore." 

The conversation shifted to the beginning of the cursus honorum. "That's exciting. Do you feel prepared?" Caecina was acutely aware in certain moments the beginning of the culmination of her education as the domina of a home: her marriage. She was constantly curious what Juliana and her father were discussing in private regarding her married, a curiosity that occasionally caused eavesdropping or snooping, though she had not found out anything concrete. "Of course, I shall ensure that yours are the first names on the top of the invitation list," she said happily, taking another sip of the wine. "I am sure I shall be married soon, though to whom I have no idea. And I'm sure the young women must be all over you, then?" 

@Sarah

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Did he feel prepared for the Cursus Honorum? He tilted his slightly as a thoughtful expression crossed his features; he'd not do her the disservice of a flippant answer. "I think so." He said at last. "I am looking forward to it. Lessons can be boring, but some are very interesting." He smiled shyly for a moment. "I actually really like learning about the Empire."He admitted. Titus, his adoptive brother, wasn't quite so keen, but Tiberius could see how it all fit together, and how an understanding of that relevancy and interrelationship could only be beneficial to future governance. "We start with the Military Tribunes. I'm hoping that, if we get deployed, I'll get to see some of the wider Empire in person." That thought excited him. Not the prospect of battle itself, though it was unlikely that he would face it.

But it was a serious subject. Caecina's promise that he and Titus should have first invitations to her next party drew out a boyish grin. "I'll hold you to that. I'm sure your parties are not to be missed." he said, taking a judicious sip from his own cup of wine. Then the subject of marriage came up. As high ranked young things they all faced that prospect, though the young women sooner than the young men. Claudia had mentioned something similar. He wondered for a moment whether there was more to be read into Caecina's words, even as he flushed at her question. "Not so much, no." He admitted, though in truth he wasn't too worried. "Titus tends to be the popular one. I'm sure Caesar will find someone appropriate when the time is right." And Quintus would want what was best for the Empire.

It was, admitedly, one of several topics that he'd like to talk to his uncle and adoptive father about, but the ruler of the Empire was a busy man and there hadn't yet been time. Hopefully soon. Rather he cheekily turned the question back on it's asker. "Surely you've had suitors lining up at your door?"

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Caecina gave a small smile as he asserted that lessons could be interesting. She supposed they would be if she were allowed to learn the same things he was. Politics was a world not allowed to her but she learned what she could from talking to men and acting like a foolish girl who didn't know anything, even though she had found she had a mind for the practice. Tiberius spoke of his hope of seeing the empire while deploying with the military and she smiled. "I hope you are able to! I have heard that there are beautiful sights to see around the empire, though I haven't had the honor of seeing much more than Rome and various cities around Italia. You'll have to keep me posted while you travel," she smiled a little flirtatiously. 

The subject of the party continued and Tiberius said he would keep her to her promise. "I assure you, you shall receive an invitation, you and your sister and brother. We will have a grand time." She adjusted herself into a more comfortable sitting position, stifling a grin at his embarrassed flush at her question. "Ah, popularity isn't everything." Titus was always a popular one but Caecina was more at ease talking to Tiberius. The young man turned her question back on her and she laughed. "Juliana and my father don't tend to give me all the information about who has asked for my hand, so I haven't the slightest idea. They will certainly choose well for me, just as Caesar will for you." 

@Sarah

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"We'll see." He said, always one to be a little reserved on such commitments. "I often used to quiz Uncle Octavius about his travels in the service of the Empire," alright, he still did, "so I hope I'll get to see some of it myself." And do something that would better the Empire. Like Caecina, he hadn't yet travelled much beyond Rome and the surrounding countryside yet.  "I'll bring you back something, if I manage to go somewhere exotic." He promised with a wink.

Popularity wasn't everything, but for a young man who was still growing into adulthood, sometimes it's lack was felt. No doubt his cousin understood. Tiberius didn't have Titus's bold and sometimes brash confidence, but his thoughtful self-assurance was perhaps more likely to grow into the kind of gravitas that demanded respect. His father had had it, in his youth, but Tiberius had never known Emperor Claudius, having been born after his death.

"Have you asked them?" He asked, perhaps a little cheekily. He intended to ask Quintus what his thoughts were, when he got the opportunity. He didn't actually expect to get any say in the matter of course, but he trusted his uncle to do what would be best for their family and the Empire. No doubt Juliana would see that the same held true for Caecina's match. Not that she should want for suitors, in the way of young women she already seemed mature, and she was very attractive. Being family they wouldn't be a match for each other, unless Quintus saw something he didn't, but likely used to make other political links. He was glad that he didn't have to worry about that political minefield himself. That didn't mean that he couldn't enjoy her company.

And it didn't mean that their family couldn't be more strongly bound together. "Have you spoken with Claudia recently?" He asked, meaning his twin, Claudia Caesaris. She was a politically savvy young woman who might appreciate having their cousin around to chat with, and plot with. Tiberius was firmly of the opinion that the family, however extended, should present a united front. They would be safest that way.

@Echo

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