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Aeterna Roma RPG

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6th of October, 75 AD

Given the tragedy brought on by the earthquake only a few months earlier, Titus didn't quite feel right celebrating his birthday with huge festivities or partying from dusk to dawn - besides, this was no milestone year, just the passage of time signalling that he had officially grown older. The previous day - the actual day of - had been spent with family, featuring a relaxed and pleasurable evening with far too much food including Betua's mouthwateringly good placenta cake, and only a tiny hiccough when Valeriana loudly and vehemently expressed how unfair it was that she received no gifts, skilfully ignoring the fact that it wasn't her birthday for that to happen. 

Tonight's celebration was simple as well, though less child-friendly. Going out for drinks with friends was also very agreeable, even more so when they had a decent-sized chamber and an own dedicated servant all to themselves. Drinking alone was no fun, though, even when it was Falernian and Caecuban, and Titus busied himself with deciphering the multitude of humorous scrawls on the walls and snacking on bread and olives before the others arrived - his stomach would thank him later.

@Echo @Sara @Sharpie

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Longinus was already a little tipsy. Not drunk, but merry. Determined not to be morose for his friends birthday, he'd cracked open the wine early to warm and cheer himself up at home and then taken a cup for the walk over. He ignored the curious looks he was shot; an obviously wealthy man reagaled in his finery, with a beard he'd still stubbornly refused to shave, sipping wine from a wooden cup as he meandered over to the designated spot. As he neared the place, and drained the cup, he tossed it over his shoulder. He ignored the mumbles of some pleb or slave who had to clear it up. 

He'd not seen his friend in a good while; pointedly ignoring invitations for a catch-up since his return from Greece in late August, some six weeks prior. But he was in a better place than he had been; mentally and physically. He was sleeping and eating more, and allowing his body more time for rest. Greece had been a god-send in that regard, giving him time to collect his thoughts and then scatter them to the wind, and his memories where they belonged. Still, even if he was feeling brighter, he was still nervous for a boys night given he hadn't been on one since his ill-fated bachelor-party. He swallowed the memory and the thought as he ducked through the door. 

He grinned to himself as he saw Titus, alone in the room - back to him. "Ah yes, this is the turnout I was expecting." He arched a brow and made a mockery of his friend as he dramatically counted how many people were in the room, "Zero friends here to celebrate, that sounds about right for you." 

 

TAG: @Liv @Sharpie @Echo

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"Perhaps we ought to go home then?" Aulus suggested, following hard on his friend's heels and unable to keep from overhearing what Longinus had said. "Good to see you again - though you could shave that abominable beard off, you know. You'd look a sight better without it, unless you want everyone to think you're so enamoured of Greek style it's found a permanent home on your face?"

He was not going to indulge anyone in morose feelings; tonight was a night to get happily drunk and enjoy being with friends. And despite the ribbing, Longinus looked far more like himself than he had before he'd taken himself and his body-slave on an extended jaunt around Greece.

"And congratulations on getting another year older and more decrepit, Rufus," he said to their other friend, who was already nursing a cup. "Getting started without us?"

 

@Echo @Liv @Sara

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Publius had already resigned himself to being the 'adult' in the group as soon as he had received the invitation. Even being forced to be responsible for his friends, an invitation to spend time with them was always welcome. And being responsible certainly didn't mean that he couldn't have a drink or two, within his limits. Being a senator and a military man meant that Publius had developed a keen tolerance for alcohol, so he could enjoy a few drinks before he was out of control. And he was never out of control. 

So, when the evening arrived, Publius dressed as well as he usually did and made his way to the appointed spot. He was a little later than the others, it seemed, as he entered the room with a broad grin. "You must think I'm decrepit as well, Aulus. I'm hurt," he teased, hearing what he had said to Titus. He sat heavily in his chair and sighed gratefully. 

@Liv @Sara @Sharpie

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Titus successfully fought the urge to roll his eyes and instead gave Longinus a look full of pity. He had just turned thirty-six, by the gods' favour, so at least while he was still sober he should act like it. "You know, just because you can't stand to spend two minutes in your own company doesn't mean it's the same for everybody." He gestured at an empty seat and then at the servant to fill two cups, and almost immediately corrected himself to add a third one as the familiar figure of Aulus appeared in the dim lighting.

"Thank you, esteemed consul-to-be. This was just posca," he pointed at his forgotten cup with a dismissive wave, "didn't want to get started without you. My greatest consolation is that you're even older and more decrepit - I heard something somewhere about a death mask ?" Or he had read some scrawled graffiti about it, he couldn't quite remember.

Publius completed the quartet and again Titus signalled for another cup to be filled, and within seconds they all had a topped-up goblet of sweet, dry Falernian in front of each of them. And now that they were all in attendance, the good-natured ribbing could begin. Titus took a sip from his cup and aimed at his favourite target. "Is that the newest Greek fashion? You remind me of my body slave," he smirked briefly at Longinus before turning to the two others. "Please tell me I'm not the only one who sees it."

@Sara @Sharpie @Echo

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Longinus merely beamed one of his large, smug grins at Titus and didn't rise to the bait as the others arrived. He took a seat at the table and resisted the urge to place his feet up on Titus', and instead crossed them. The overt irritation could come later, for now, he was willing to restrain himself given they were in Aulus and Publius' presences. 

He waved a hand, "A new Greek beard to match my new Greek outlook." He grinned, "And I'll take that as a compliment, your body slave is a good looking bloke. Not like Aulus' Felix mind, but not everybody has coin to spare like our esteemed friend, times are tough for you eh Titus?" He wiggled his eyebrows and took a sip to hide his smirk. He was trying to be restrained but it was so easy to irritate his oldest friend, so how could he not? He did offer some peace, however, as he continued; "Get any good presents?" 

 

TAG: @Sharpie @Echo @Liv

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"If you're decrepit, Publius, that must mean I'm practically ancient," Aulus said, finding a seat. He raised an eyebrow in Longinus' direction. "I was unaware you'd returned home with a pretty Greek - Attis get too much for you in the end?"

It was a wonder his friend had put up with his body slave's sarcastic tongue for as long as he had - though even Aulus had heard about Longinus lending his body slave to Rufus for a few months.

He reached for the jug of wine and poured himself and Publius a beakerful, hoping that this evening would end better than the last time they'd got together for the same aim of getting drunk.

 

@Echo @Liv @Sara

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