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Tiberius Claudius Sabucius

The gift horse

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July AD77, Circus Maximus

The chariots rounded the curve for the last time, two neck and neck whilst others trailed behind. This was always when the race was at it's most exciting. The charioteer with the chestnut horses had the advantage of the inside of the curve, but the bay team were pressing him hard, and for a moment it looked as though they might actually force the chestnuts into the inner wall. But the team fought back, and the two charioteers thundered towards the finish to the applaud of the crowd, the chestnut team beating the bays by a mere nose.

From where he sat under a shading awning, Tiberius raised a hand and gestured to the winning charioteer, symbolic indication of Caesar's favour, since he was here in his uncle's stead. Handing off the reins to his slaves, the charioteer approached the imperial seating area, even as the adjudicator came forward with a laurel wreath to place on the young man's head. Not a golden one of course, but one woven of leafy bay twigs, since these were only the heats. The grand competition, still some weeks away, would see the presentation of the gold wreath by Caesar himself, or his designate. For the moment Tiberius could simply sit back and watch.

This was more Titus' scene than his, his boisterous cousin loved these kinds of competitions, but Tiberius recognised his duties as important to the Empire. To be present, to be seen, to support those entertainments which so captured the plebians' imaginations, and thus be seen as being in touch with the populace. He personally found the conversations around him more interesting than the racing, and listened whilst watching the race.

@Atrice

Edited by Sarah
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Lexus barely remembered how he got here. Or well, he did, but it was all so grand and glorious and he’d never been here before and he was so busy turning his head constantly, looking around, admiring the beautiful building and how huge it was, that he forgot to actually focus on it! But now he was up here, along with a lot of other citizens of Rome, watching chariots racing!

It was exciting and at the same time, he’d never been to a race before. He didn’t know the rules, but he could see there were several teams. It looked so dangerous! Next time he’d see a gladiator game, because if this was dangerous, what was a gladiator game then? And his father had been a gladiator. That was the knowledge about his father he’d never forget. He never met the man, he’d never once been present in Lexus’ life, but he had the story… yet the story was not about a charioteer and that’s what he was looking at now.

Then the race was done and Lexus looked up the nearby seats, where the imperials sat and a young man sat there, he couldn’t be much older than Lexus. Think they might be the same age and yet their lives were so different. Lexus stood by his seat at the simple steps, watching the whole action with the laurel wreath and he almost appeared paralyzed by it. Suddenly though, the young imperial man over there was looking his way and Lexus realized he’d been staring for too long. He smiled at the other young man, even dared to wave at him, but then thought that might be too much, so he quickly cast his eyes down again. Lexus didn’t always know what was right to do in every situation. He might just have made a fool of himself.

@Sarah

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Laurels on the charioteer's head, the winning team set off on a slow victory lap whilst the bay team finished exiting the arena. The next competitors would be waiting in the wings as soon as the chestnut team cleared the field, and the next heat would begin. In the meantime there was a lull. Tiberius took a sip of his watered wine against the heat of the day, idly scanning the crowds to see whether he recognised anyone amongst those who were enjoying a lazy afternoon watching the chariot heats.

Rather than the familiar feeling of recognition, as he glanced around Tiberius felt the slight shock of finding himself the received of an unfamiliar but very frank gaze. A young man, perhaps a few years younger than himself, with grey-blue eyes, was looking up at him. As their gazes met the other smiled and even waved, then suddenly looked away. Tiberius searched his memory; did he know the youth? He was pretty sure that he didn't. No doubt the other recognised him as one of the Imperials.

Well, an important part of being an Imperial was representing the will and wellbeing of Rome's citizens, and one couldn't do so if one didn't know what that was. It was easy for someone in power to think only of how they might benefit themselves, or how they wanted the Empire run. But that did not make good leadership. Beconning to a member of the Praetorian Guard, he asked the man to go and invite the youth to speak with him.

@Atrice

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The other young man seemed a litle surprised that Lexus had looked at him, but luckily he also didn't seem angry, when Lexus looked up again. He let out a breath of relief, he better not anger someone of the Imperial family! He didn't even know whom the other was, just that he seemed to be around Lexus' age and dressed much better than himself. Of course people of all ranks came here, all ranks and ages and genders... it didn't matter. He didn't think more would happen anyway, and focused on the racing track again.

Then a moment later, more did happen! He was approached by a very imposing looking guard, had to be maybe a Praetorian Guard - he had seen them over by the Imperial box - and Lexus almost froze. Had he upset the other boy after all? The guard said then that he was invited to the Imperial box, where he was to join the prince, Tiberius Claudius Sabucius. The guard didn't say what for, but Lexus saw no other option but to follow the guard - so he did. Very aware suddenly about how poor he must look compared to the other. And he wasn't even among the poorest, although his mother was not wealthy either. 

They arrived just moments later and the guard let him be while Lexus tried to remember what you ought to do to superiors... he bowed his head respectfully towards the other, "Greetings... you invited me here? I hope I have not upset you. I didn't mean to." He should just have shut up after greeting the other, but Lexus tended to talk when he was a bit nervous. And apparently he was that right now... 

@Sarah

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