Jump to content
Aeterna Roma RPG

Recommended Posts

Well, their earlier conversation had gone less than swimmingly, thanks to Charis' presence - not that Teutus blamed her. If he'd known she was there, he wouldn't have turned up there himself, at least not until she'd left to return home.

He sighed to himself; he really needed to get a slave so that he didn't have to do all the wandering around Rome himself. Even if he had a slave, though, he'd most likely have to make this trip himself, this was not the sort of conversation or discussion he felt he could trust to a slave, not this early on in proceedings. Anyway, they lived in the same insula, and he wasn't damn lazy enough that he couldn't climb a few stairs from his apartment (several rooms on the first floor, and far too big for just him - but his father had insisted!) to Alexius', two floor above.

So it was just a few minutes later that he found himself knocking on Alexius' door, hoping that he wasn't disturbing anything untoward this time.

 

@Atrice

Edited by Sharpie
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Alexius was drunk. He'd been since yesterday morning, when Charis and then Teutus left his flat and Lexus had made some comment Alexius didn't feel like hearing. They hadn't really talked a lot since. Alexius had felt awful for not connecting Charis and Teutus before it was too late, and the damage was already done. Teutus did promise he'd not tell his father about Charis being with Alexius, but it didn't make him feel much better. She gave birth to Tertius' new son, who was now his heir and he knew how miserable Teutus had felt at the time about that. Alexius had tried his best to distract Teutus and give him something else to think about. Then Charis showed up two nights ago. Ready for a thing or two with Alexius, suddenly. And now that experience was ruined for her too, because Teutus showed up and Alexius would be friends with both, but how could he, after this? He would not be surprised if he'd never hear from any of them again. So, he'd purchased more of the cheap wine he usually had. 

He didn't even know what time of the day it was. Alexius was in his bed, the jar of wine leaning against it on the floor next to the bed. Lexus was... somewhere. Not at home, that's all he knew. Which was probably for the best, because why would he want to hang out with the father he met barely years ago, and who'd done nothing but apparently embarrass him ever since. Yet it was his son. Alexius was his dad! But they had so little in common. Just another failure. He'd never fit in with anyone, would he?

He was half-asleep when there was a sudden knock on the door. Alexius sat up and looked down himself. Well at least he was dressed. In the same tunica he threw over his head yesterday. Who was here to visit him now? At this hour? What hour was it? He sighed, ran both hands through his hair and wandered to the door to open it. And there stood Teutus... "Oh..." Alexius had not expected that! Sure Teutus promised he'd be back. But Alexius wasn't sure why... "Uhm... come in? There's no visitors now. Just me." He stepped aside, "Wine?" 

@Sharpie

Edited by Atrice
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Teutus couldn't help looking Alexius up and down. He looked terrible - the tunic he was wearing seemed to be the same one he was wearing yesterday and if Teutus wasn't mistaken, Alexius had probably slept in it, too. He smelled of wine, which was something that Teutus could completely understand.

He accepted the invitation and stepped through the door. "Wine? I suppose I should, it'll mean there's less for you - please don't tell me you've been drinking all on your own?"

Of course he had; yesterday had been... Well, yesterday had been pretty bad for all of them, because none of them had expected both Teutus and Charis to be in the same apartment at the same tie, east of all Alexius.

"I guess I should apologise for yesterday," he said. "I should have at least warned you I might come round about something, after we talked about working together, anyway."

 

@Atrice

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Teutus had a point, there'd be less wine for Alexius, if he drank any. But maybe that was good. Maybe Alexius should try not to drink more wine, although he wasn't so sure if he could. He felt like he'd ruined someone's life. By sharing pleasure with Charis, he had ruined something. Maybe even for two people, both her and Teutus. Nobody felt good after they left yesterday. Not even Alexius. Think that something that should have been so good had ended in such a miserable way! But he allowed Teutus inside and the other asked if he'd been drinking all on his own.

"Well there's no one here, so I guess I have been on my own." He said and closed the door behind Teutus. Then he went to pick up the jar of wine that was resting against his bed, but when he came into the main room again, he realized that no one had washed the cups. Lexus was too young to consider such things and especially when his father was a fool. And Alexius hadn't considered it at all. Teutus began talking again. He apologized, again (when would he stop?) and claimed he should have warned Alexius.

"I often have guests and usually, more guests aren't an issue." Alexius pointed out, "Yesterday was just..." He trailed off, unable to describe it properly. To distract himself from that, he looked at the table again and sighed, "I'm sorry, I don't have any clean cups. You'll have to drink from the jar, if you want any." He said, still holding the jar in his hand.

@Sharpie

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"It's fine, I don't mind," Teutus said, and sighed. "Look, really, I think we were mostly both startled at seeing each other here - I honestly don't have a problem with her seeing you, or you seeing her. I'm not about to tell my father." Gods knew Tertius didn't tell Teutus half the things he knew. He took the jar from Alexius' hand.

"If it helps at all, we talked. Charis and me. We've probably needed to talk for months, and haven't, and meeting here just made it so we couldn't avoid each other the way we have been. You don't need to feel guilty or - or anything like that."

The conversation with Charis hadn't been entirely comfortable, but they had needed to have it, and it had cleared the air between them. Teutus still probably wouldn't feel completely comfortable around her and her baby, but that wasn't Alexius' fault at all.

"Please don't tell me you've been trying to get drunk just because of us two, though - we're not worth that."

 

@Atrice

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Teutus didn’t mind that there wasn’t a cup. Well he was a freedman like Alexius, he wasn’t raised as the son of a Senator. Even though he was. Teutus began talking about how he and Charis were startled seeing each other here, and he would not tell his father. Alexius nodded, “Good. Good. Then I won’t have to beat you up for it.” He added with a little smile, while Teutus took the jar and explained that he and Charis talked and Alexius shouldn’t feel guilty. And he claimed they were not worth getting drunk over.

 “I should have guessed, though. That you knew each other. Thing is, I’m best with my body and not so much with the thinking.” Alexius said with a small sigh, sometimes he did feel stupid. He had been a slave and gladiator, born to an uncivilized people (according to the Romans). What he learned growing up in Rome was, that he wasn't as smart as them. And maybe they were right.

 “And if you don’t want me to tell you about why I got drunk, I won’t. But you are worth more than you think, Teutus. You both are. And you’re silly if you think it isn’t so. Is that your superior father, getting under your skin? You make excuses constantly, you apologize. You think you’re worth nothing. But you are worth it. And I won’t hear you say you’re not.” Alexius snatched the jar back and downed a gulp and went over to sit on a stool by the table, because it felt less nice to stand right now. Maybe it was the wine. Or all the thinking. He didn’t know.

@Sharpie

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Teutus sighed, and joined Alexius at the table - at least the man had two stools, so he didn't have to stand there and look as awkward as he felt.

"I won't stop you telling me why you decided to get drunk if you want to," he said, clasping his hands together on the rough wooden planking of the tabletop. "And - I guess you're right, I do let my father get under my skin. He has a habit of doing that, or I have a habit of letting him. Or both." He shrugged. "I didn't come here to spill everything like a leaky water jar - I came over yesterday to ask if you'd come to look at a warehouse with me. I think it's a good one, suitable for what I want - what we want, if you want to work with me. But I need a second opinion, you might see a problem with it that I haven't."

And while he didn't particularly feel like spilling his emotions and thoughts everywhere, he'd talk if Alexius pressed him. He'd kept it inside for a while, it was bound to spill out somewhere, somehow.

 

@Atrice

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Teutus said he would not stop Alexius, if he began talking. And he did. Didn't he? He thought he did. Because he'd been an idiot and because he failed two of his good friends - friends who didn't think they were worth anything, but they were. And Alexius didn't get through with that either, did he? Teutus confessed he did let his father get under his skin, but then went on, saying he wanted Alexius to look at a warehouse with him and he wanted Alexius' opinion on it.

"Spill all you like, you know I've got nothing to hide." Alexius said and downed some more of the wine. It was getting empty. He sighed.

"I can come with you. Look at that warehouse. But first..." He blinked, "I think we need to stop by a bath. Or a fountain. Something with cold water." He rarely got so drunk that he was unable to talk or move, but he definitely didn't feel sober either. And a bit of cold water might help with that. So he passed the jar of wine to Teutus and got up to find his slippers, a belt with a purse and see if he had a clean tunica too. If he was going out, he should look better than this. 

@Sharpie

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Teutus found himself a cup - it had been used but he didn't care - and poured himself some wine. He needed it, and Alexius had maybe drunk a little too much.

"It's all just... complicated," he said, putting the cup down after having a mouthful of the wine. "About my father, I mean. I wouldn't even know where to start." It might do him good to talk about it, but then again, did he really want to tell this man all the crap that he'd gone through and all the mess of emotions Teutus had about the whole thing?

"A bath sounds like a good idea," he said. Somewhere a little relaxing, anyway. "And then maybe we can talk about things over a meal somewhere. Put a real plan together."

 

@Atrice

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Teutus didn't hold back, when Alexius said he could just spill and talk all he liked to him. Alexius knew him anyway. Both as a friend and intimately and now even more, after the incident yesterday morning with Charis. Teutus said it was complicated with his father and didn't know where to start. Alexius nodded, "I get it, I guess fathers are often complicated. I know, I have a son too. It's not always easy." More often than not, it was awkward and difficult. Of course with Alexius, he didn't meet his son until barely a few years ago, so that was kind of different. But that didn't make it easier. And now they had to make it work and Alexius felt responsible for taking care of his son, because Lexus' mother was gone. Not easy at all. 

While he found his things and changed into another tunica and things like that, Teutus agreed that a bath was a good idea and then a meal. 

"A bath and a meal, that sounds like a very good start to anything." Alexius said and closed the belt around his waist. He considered pulling on some breeches, but decided against it. Less clothes to remove at the baths made it easier... "Shall we go then?" He moved towards the door and waited for Teutus. Maybe it would be better not talking here. And he looked forwards to the bath. And maybe he'd be able to help out Teutus. Maybe he wasn't entirely useless after all.

@Sharpie

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Teutus was perfectly happy to head out to the baths; hopefully they wouldn't run into Tertius there (they both lived on the Equiline, it would be inevitable that they'd use the same baths at some point). They didn't have to today, though. He waited until they were out on the landing before turning to Alexius.

"Would you mind a bit of a walk to a thermae, or would you rather use one near here? There's a decent thermae near where we're going, after all."

It depended on how busy the streets were and how drunk or hungover Alexius was; he wasn't going to drag the other man halfway across the city if Alexius wasn't up to it. That wouldn't be fair - Teutus knew exactly what it was like to be hungover and just want to crawl into a dark quiet hole until the hangover was done with.

"It'll be my treat, baths and lunch both," he added. "Seeing as I'm the one dragging you out and you started the drinking partly because of me in the first place. It's only fair."

 

@Atrice

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Teutus didn't comment on Alexius' words about being a father, which made sense. The younger man had his own issues with his father and had no need to hear about Alexius' life today. His was more important and he didn't come to just chat about yesterday. He wanted to move on. Alexius would try that with him, if he could. If he could sober up a little bit. Once outside, Teutus suggested walking further away to find a thermae. 

"We can use whichever thermae you prefer." Alexius simply said and Teutus said he'd pay for both the baths and the lunch, because he came and it was his fault Alexius was drunk. Alexius sighed, looking at his younger friend.

"You don't owe me anything, but if you want to pay, I won't argue." Alexius said and continued, "And, didn't I tell you to stop making excuses all the time? You really do need to stop doing that. And not just for me, but for everyone. I think, if you want to get somewhere... you need to be more confident. You have it in you. Don't be so afraid. Stop apologizing. Stop making excuses. You're free. Act like it." Maybe it was because he was drunk that he was so honest, or maybe he really just was tired of having to tell this to Teutus over and over. Or maybe it was both. But Teutus needed to hear it. And if he had to, Alexius would need to knock some sense into Teutus' head one way or the other. He preferred trying to talk first. See if that worked. Not that he had a lot of faith in that method. Talking wasn't his best skill.

@Sharpie

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Teutus managed a smile. "I'll try. I'm paying because it was my fault, what happened yesterday - I'm the one who burst in unexpectedly and upset things. Everything else... I guess I'm just used to apologising for my father and how he makes everything so uncomfortable, at least as far as family's concerned. Things have been uncomfortable between me and Charis for a while, yesterday meant we couldn't escape one another the way we have been doing. We needed to talk, I think it helped. So... I'm sorry for making you uncomfortable for getting caught in it, but I'm not sorry it happened."

Teutus talked too much, he knew he did. He wasn't about to apologise for that as well; Alexius was right about Teutus apologising too much!

"I hope you get on with your son better than I do with my father," he said a moment later, though hopefully things were a bit better between himself and Tertius than they had been. He didn't know how long it would last, though. Maybe a month or two, with any luck.

 

@Atrice

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Teutus said he'd try to stop making excuses, but then went on excusing about yesterday morning. Alexius only just managed to not roll his eyes, but then the younger man went on about how things had been between him and Charis and... yes, he apologized again. Gods, really?

"You couldn't have known what company I had. There's nothing about it that was your fault. And if I was uncomfortable, I don't know what you two were, seeing each other there! No, I should have figured it out earlier. If I had, I'd have been smarter about it. But I didn't. My strength lies in my body, not my mind." At least he was aware of that. At least he knew that he wasn't very smart, but he knew how to fight and how to please, that's what he knew to do. Then of course Teutus brought up the subject of Alexius' son again, and that was yet another thing he wasn't so good at. He tried his best, but he and Lexus were just not the same type of person. At all. He had so little in common with his son and it surprised him every day.

"Most of the time we get along fine. But I don't think he approves of the way I live. In fact I know. He even mentioned it yesterday, he heard it all, when you came. To him, I'm little but an embarrassment." He couldn't even do that right. Even Lexus mentioned he should begin thinking, but then said it was too late for that. Just another reason for Alexius getting drunk this time. It was a combination of so many things. So many reasons. 

@Sharpie

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"I don't think it matters whether you like the same things or not, but talk with him, show an interest in what he likes." Teutus sighed. It might not be good advice, but it was what he wished his own father would do, what he wished Tertius had done through his life - even when Teutus was still a slave, he could have shown more interest in him than he showed in the chair he sat on. 

"Make it easy for your son to talk to you about things he likes, that don't matter, and he'll be able and willing to talk about big things that do matter, later on," he added. "Ah, here we are." He guided his friend into the entrance of the baths. 

 

@Atrice

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Alexius had tried listening to Lexus talking about the things he liked. After he had worked with Oriana, his interest in gardens had grown. A lot. Alexius didn't understand it at all, he'd never taken an interest in gardens or plants or how to plan a garden and Lexus, well he was so excited about it. Alexius tried listening and tried to seem excited too, but it was so different from what he liked and the life he'd lived, that he barely grasped any of it. But he tried to pay attention, to Teutus saying he should make it easy for Lexus to talk to him, so he'd be willing to talk to him later on.

"How do you make it easy though? I didn't know him as a child. He didn't grow up with me. We only met briefly before his mother passed away. And he's not like me at all." He explained on the way into the bathhouse. Thinking about how Lexus was more his opposite. He'd barely kissed a girl. Alexius knew his son had been in love, they talked about it once. but Lexus barely wanted to talk about it with Alexius. As if he felt he couldn't. Alexius didn't know what to do about it. 

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to bring the mood down either." He said, as they reached the changing area. Alexius eyed the slaves working at the thermae, but he didn't bring a lot of coin and besides, they knew him. They wouldn't steal from him, right? 

@Sharpie

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"I don't know. Talk to him, not necessarily about things that'll make him uncomfortable, but about things that are important to you." Teutus unfastened his belt and pulled his tunic over his head before folding it and putting his clothing in one of the empty niches, soon adding his loincloth to the small pile.

"If you're open with him, it's got to make it easier for him to be open with you," he said, and shrugged. It was how he wished things were between himself and his father, though they never would be. He wondered suddenly if Tertius knew how to be open with anyone at all.

"Don't close yourself off from him, though. That's... Well, that's how me and Charis ended up in the mess we're in."

Alexis was a very different person from Tertius and Teutus hoped that he'd be able to create a better relationship with his son than Teutus had with his own father. It must help that Alexius' son wasn't a slave.

 

@Atrice

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It felt good talking to Teutus about his son – because it actually seemed like Teutus knew what he was talking about, with the weird relationship he had with his father. Alexius did want to be Lexus’ friend, but it was hard. Teutus suggested what to talk about and that Alexius should be open with him. Meanwhile they’d arrived at the apodyterium and began undressing. At least it wasn’t weird, Alexius had never been shy with his own body and besides, he knew Teutus. Which was part of why it felt so weird with Charis yesterday. But they were talking about his son.

 “I do try to be open with him, but sometimes it feels like we’re coming from two different worlds. He was born free. I grew up as a slave and was freed when I was grown, like you. And he heard stories about me, before we met. So he knew things about me. I knew nothing about him.” Alexius tried to explain, “But I’ll try to remember what you told me. Maybe you should come visit me sometime… meet him properly. He’s not a bad kid.” He added with a smile, thinking that would explain why they were so different. Compared to Lexus, Alexius was very naughty.

 He placed his loincloth on a shelf next to Teutus’, “Alright, are we ready? Which part do you want to do first? I could honestly use a cold bath.” He chuckled, with the amount of wine he’d drunk since yesterday, a cold bath might be just what he needed. Not that he felt very drunk, he never really did, but he was sure that his body would need to recover.

@Sharpie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Teutus honestly wouldn't mind going through the whole thing but Alexius' needs trumped his own, and he was used to following along - he should be more assertive in his life, really, but it wasn't as though he minded following others at times. Just, not all the time, especially among equals.

"If you need a cold bath, we'll do that then," he said. A cold plunge might help clear his own head, too, though he wasn't the one who'd spent the morning drinking.

"If he knows more about you than you do him, that's a good reason to ask him about himself, find out about him - and he won't know you and the things you like. Just the stories he's heard about you the gladiator. It's the difference between knowing all about a senator - like one of the consuls - and actually meeting him to talk to. Except for longer than just a social occasion or something."

He led the way into the plunge bath. "Don't laugh at me for not being able to swim properly," he said, managing a smile. "The baths I used to go to don't have a proper size natatorium, after all."

 

@Atrice

Edited by Sharpie
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

They seemed to agree on the cold bath, so off that way they went. Teutus offered more advice on how to talk to your estranged son and Alexius listened, but he just wasn't quite sure Teutus understood exactly how hard it was. And how Lexus seemed so strangely irritated by the way Alexius was, although this was the he'd always been and he honestly saw no reason to change. Not that he wouldn't love finding the perfect woman to settle down with, but she probably didn't exist. Except maybe Gaia. He'd considered more than once asking to marry her, she might understand. But then again... would she? Right, this wasn't about women though. It was about his son.

"It's not like it's hard finding out what I like... I'm quite open about it, I think?" Alexius suggested, "We've not met many times so far, but you know, don't you? And I've tried talking to him, but he won't really open up so much. I think he fears I won't understand him. Maybe. I don't know, I just think it may be that." He shrugged with a sigh as they appeared by the cold bath and Teutus led the way into it. It was still somewhat early in the day, so there weren't other people here right now. Teutus joked about not being able to swim.

"I promise I won't laugh." Alexius said and entered, letting out a small gasp as the cold water took him in, "Fuck it's cold today isn't it?" Or maybe his body was just overheated from all the wine and the worries. 

@Sharpie

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"All I'm saying, really, is don't close yourself off to him - show an interest, make it easy for him to approach you, he'll appreciate that even if he doesn't say as much," Teutus said, following Alexius into the water with a gasp of his own. "I think they prefer the term invigorating, but yes - it's just another way of saying it's cold."

Maybe he just didn't want to see Alexius' relationship with his son go through the sort of issues Teutus had with his own father - not that that was likely to happen, Alexius and Tertius being very different people. Alexius wasn't half as emotionally constipated as Tertius, for one thing.

The pool wasn't huge, but was big enough for a bit of a swim and Teutus sighed. A couple of lengths would be good exercise, even if his technique was completely ridiculous.

 

@Atrice

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Alexius would take note - in his mind - and try to remember everything that Teutus said about how he should act towards Lexus. He did want a good relationship with his son. He did want show Lexus he was interested, it just felt like Lexus didn't expect it and so nothing really happened. Conversations were short, especially on busy days, where they both had jobs to go to and wouldn't see each other all day. They just happened to live together. And they were father and son. 

He forgot all about Lexus though as he entered the cold water and cursed the temperature. He couldn't help but smile at Teutus' dry remark about the correct term.

"Yeah it's cold. But needed." He moved further into the water and dived under briefly, before emerging again. He didn't recall anyone teaching him how to swim. He'd just always done it. Maybe he learned it as a child, before he was enslaved? He did have faint memories of swimming in a lake near the village, together with his sister. His sister... what in the name of Hades was it today, with all these memories and deep thoughts on everything? Maybe he needed to not talk about himself.

"So... how's the business going anyway? You're looking for a warehouse. That sounds promising." Alexius said as he ran his hands over his hair to force the water backwards and away from his face, while he tried to not think about his own life for once. Going into business with Teutus might be good for him.

@Sharpie

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It would take too long to complete even one length of the pool in Teutus' awkward swimming style, he thought. Talking was much more his speed, especially with someone like Alexius. He gave a mental shrug and found a place along the edge where he could stretch out and let the water bouy his legs up a bit. Just relaxing with a friend - what the baths were made for, after all.

"I've got a warehouse, but it's too small and in the wrong place if I'm going to expand," he said. "I've found a bigger one, but while I think it's good, I want a second opinion before I think about agreeing a lease on it. Olive oil was just... well, it was an experiment, really, to see whether I've got anything like the aptitude for this, without spending a fortune on something if it didn't work out."

It seemed he had found one subject that he could talk about quite happily - something that wasn't tinged with anger or frutstration or despair or any of the myriad other emotions stirred up by his whole situation with his family, such as it was.

"I want to be able to branch out, to bring in different things from different parts of the Empire - beyond it, even, one day. Just having one speciality is all very well, but if something were to happen - and people want luxuries, want to be able to show their wealth in the things they have around them. Someone needs to supply those things, why not me? Us, if you choose."

 

@Atrice

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...