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Posted (edited)

July, 76 AD

Marcus rolled his eyes at yet another posh son of a Senator, with his nose up in the sky, talking about that and hither as if he had any say in anything, with his old man still alive. Marcus was free as a bird, at least. His brother, his Pater Familias, was nowhere near Rome. He wasn't even sure where he was. His mother’s husband of course, he did what he could to keep Marcus afloat and out of trouble, but honestly… the man was not here and Marcus could do as he pleased. Which was not listen to nonsense about future escapades in faraway countries. The guy didn’t even know if he’d get there yet!

 He slipped away from the group of young men chatting and found his own bodyslave lingering near one of the entrances to the peristyle. This was a party or ‘social gathering’ for young men of high quality, to meet and interact and maybe form friendships and alliances to last until they one day would become important men. So boring! Marcus didn't need parties like these. He didn't know why the old man at home thought he did. There weren't even any girls present!

 “Silvanus… I’m bored. Why don’t you fetch me a jar of wine?” He told his slave and Silvanus arched a brow, “It is not our home, Domine. I can’t just…” He tried to argue, but Marcus rolled his eyes for who-knows-which-time this evening, “You can, because I told you so. And if they say you can’t, tell them that I sent you and if they don’t do as I tell them, I’ll tell our host what awful slaves he has. And what they did to me through you.” Marcus said and Silvanus could not see how he could argue himself out of that. So off he went towards the kitchens to find the wine.

 Meanwhile Marcus slipped over to a slave standing around with a plate of finger foods. The sticky, but delicious honeyed dates! Marcus picked a few off the tray and ate them, they were the ones with black pepper inside, his favorites! Expensive too! When he was done, he licked his fingers, one by one, until Silvanus showed up with the desired jar of wine, “Great, you got it! Thanks!” Marcus carried it off towards a corner of the atrium, where he could sit down and drink it on his own. Or so he thought.

@Chevi

Edited by Atrice
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Lucius was bored out of his mind. These social gatherings among young men from senatorial families were spent talking about politics, careers, and making allegiances for the future, nothing that he was particularly interested in. He'd exchanged a few words with a few people who he knew or found passably interesting, but soon migrated to the food. From there, he'd gone to the kitchen and struck up a conversation with the somewhat baffled kitchen staff, which resulted him getting his own plate of dates and a jug of wine. Retreating to the atrium, he noticed another young man settling down with a very similar jug, away from the crowd. Lucius smirked, walking over to join him and raising his jug.

"Is this the 'I am bored of politics' corner of the event?"

@Sara

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All on his own he’d pulled a stool to the corner of the atrium, thinking he could sit down there and enjoy his jar of wine. Silvanus was… somewhere, waiting for the next order. Marcus cast a glance towards all of the other fancy toga-wearing young men, some more arrogant than others, and all thinking they’d be the current Caesar’s right hand. They barely knew him! Marcus had played with the new Caesar as a child and they thought they had a chance? Ha! That was amusing. All he had to do was… well… use his connections and be a little smart. And he could be smart. If he wanted to. Right now, he just wanted to drink.

 Just as he turned to sit down and make himself comfortable, he was interrupted as someone spoke from behind. Another young guy, with a jug of wine in his hand and a plate of dates. Seeming to ask if he could join Marcus.

 “Don’t know if it’s the politics, really?” Marcus said thoughtfully, “Just… them, really. They think they’re something.” Marcus then explained and sat down on the stool, “No offense, of course, if you think you’re something too. Maybe you actually are. But we can drink, together. I’m Marcus Junius Silanus, you?” And just like that, when he thought he wasn’t going to meet anyone mildly interesting at this party, he had actually introduced himself to a stranger. Maybe the old man at home wouldn’t be so disappointed with him after all.

@Chevi

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Lucius did not know the other young man personally, although he was one of the many faces that appeared regularly at events like this (whenever Lucius could not find a way to get out of them). He seemed like he was just about as interested in the whole thing as Lucius was. And misery loved company.

“Don’t know if it’s the politics, really? Just… them, really. They think they’re something. No offense, of course, if you think you’re something too. Maybe you actually are."

"Well, my brother and I have very different definitions of 'something'" Lucius grinned, pulling up another stool to sit down.

"But we can drink, together. I’m Marcus Junius Silanus, you?”

"Lucius Vipsanius Roscius" he introduced himself, offering the plate of dates. "I'm the cautionary tale about the young senatorial who refused to start his cursus in time."

@Sara

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Marcus didn't really try to find a way to get out of these events. Because, while the other young men might irritate him a bit or bore him, at least there would be free wine and food and even all that you could want of those things. And he did like the wine, despite his age, so there it was. He'd sat down and apparently, now he had company. The other guy looked nice enough and he had both wine and dates, so of course he could join Marcus! If he wasn't offended by Marcus' words, of course. He sometimes said things before he thought them through, so it wasn't on purpose if he offended someone. It just kind of happened... the other just grinned and said something about different definitions of what being something meant. 

"I know the feeling." Marcus said, his brother apparently thought that being something meant you had to burn down your home, that you just spent a fortune on rebuilding... and so said fortune was lost, actually. And then you left Rome. Leaving your little brother in Rome with no close family except for his mother, who didn't even give birth to him. Right, enough about that. He took a swig of the wine after he'd introduced himself and the other did the same. It wasn't a name he was very familiar with. But he seemed nice enough, he thought as he picked a few of the dates for his free hand. Lucius told more about himself then.

"Oh? I only just made it far enough to start mine. I plan on signing up for the Viginitiviri as soon as I can." Marcus explained and ate a date, "What's your plan then? Why did you refuse?" It did make him curious. Marcus had just always known that was the way to go. He had to become someone important. Much more important than the other guys here. And he was well on his way, he met one of the Consuls recently! He knew it was all going to work out somehow. 

@Chevi

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"I know the feeling." 

Did he? Lucius knew he wasn't the only senatorial youth in Rome who had a brother as the paterfamilias. Maybe they were kindred spirits, drinking stolen wine for the same reason. Or maybe they were just equally jaded for different reasons altogether.

"Oh? I only just made it far enough to start mine. I plan on signing up for the Viginitiviri as soon as I can. What's your plan then? Why did you refuse?"

"I didn't... exactly refuse. I just never got around to it." Lucius smirked, sipping his wine. It had never been that dramatic with him. "I grew up on my family's estate outside the city, until Gaius - that's my brother - dragged me back here. I like it in the city, honestly... but I think the family ambition passed me by."

@Atrice

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Marcus was really curious about why a good-looking guy like Lucius would refuse to follow the course of honor. He was of the same class as Marcus, was he not? Then why choose less than luxury, when you could have it? Better ranks in the course of honor usually meant wealth and Marcus was determined to have that again. Of course, Lucius had probably not lost his, so he didn't need it so badly. Still though... and then he said he did not really refuse, he just never got around to start. That was even more strange! Marcus looked at him, as the other casually sipped his wine and explained the situation.

"The family's ambition or the family ambition?" Marcus asked curiously, "I'm sorry, I'm just not sure I understand... everyone else here are so eager to please each other and lick each other's..." Balls, but he stopped himself before it could pass between his lips, "I'm just curious about why you're not like that. I'm sure I'll get somewhere, no matter what. My father was famous. I will be too someday. No matter what shenanigans my brother is up to." And with that, he had some more of his own wine, while wondering what Lucius was all about. What drove him to be like he was? Why? Did he yearn to be different for some reason?

@Chevi

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Lucius was not usually this open with his feelings about the whole ambition thing, but the other young senatorial drinking alone at a party made him feel like he had encountered a kindred spirit. To an extent.

"The family's ambition or the family ambition? I'm sorry, I'm just not sure I understand... everyone else here are so eager to please each other and lick each other's..." 

"Ass?" Lucius grinned "Am I supposed to feel like I'm missing out on that?"

Making connections, they called it. They might as well have been honest about it.

"I'm just curious about why you're not like that. I'm sure I'll get somewhere, no matter what. My father was famous. I will be too someday. No matter what shenanigans my brother is up to." 

"I am the brother with the shenanigans" Lucius pointed out with a smirk. "And my father died in the civil war." He had been too young to fully understand, but it had been a turning point for everyone. "I am sure I'll find something too. I have until the end of the year to figure out if I'll go into the legions, or start training as a lawyer..."

@Atrice

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Marcus chuckled when Lucius finished his sentence, "I meant to say balls, but yes." He said, "And you're not missing out on anything, trust me." He replied and then went on wondering why Lucius wasn't like the rest of the guys. He mentioned why he wasn't there with them, because he simply knew he'd get somewhere and he didn't need all of them. Lucius explained that he was the brother with the shenanigans and his father was dead. Apparently he'd been given a deadline on when to find out what to do.

"My father died when I was very young too. I don't remember much of it." Marcus said and drank a swig of wine to honor his father, "What do you want to do then? Legions or lawyer? I'm not sure what I prefer. Everyone says I should go into the military too, but I'm just not so sure it's for me. On the other hand, if that's the way to go in order to get somewhere... I guess that is where I'm going, eventually." It was nice chatting with someone kind of in the same situation as him. Even if Lucius seemed to be a few years older, they were at the same point in their lives, because Lucius never started his course of honor. And apparently they both lost their fathers and now had irritating big brothers. To think, that Marcus used to look up to Lucius. But lately, his admiration had faded quite a bit. He didn't know if it would come back.

@Chevi

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