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September 76AD

"Ave Caesar." Tiberius called, presuming to enter his step-brother's rooms, where he assumed the other was working. "Titus." He added, more familiarly, as he came into view. "I'm taking cena on the balcony; come join me." He urged gently, hoping that his brother would take the excuse for a break from work to relax a little and have something to eat.

Tiberius saw it as his duty to assist Titus in his new and sudden role in any way he could, from taking on whatever duties Caesar wished, to reminding him when he needed to take a break. He was also more than happy to serve as adviser, sounding board for ideas, and to filter and run interference with the endless string of Senatores who wanted the Caesar's attention.

But all the formality of their sudden duties aside, he also enjoyed just talking with his brother, forgetting for a moment that they suddenly had the weight of the Empire on their shoulders.


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Titus mindlessly thumbed the signet ring that was once his father's, scrolls and letters scattered in front of him on the grand desk that had always been a mainstay in his chambers. Movement off in the background lured Titus from his thoughts as his gaze dropped down to the ring he now wore. Although it fit him well, Titus still felt like a child wearing it. Back when he still was one half of a whole. When Cnaeus and he were all but five and curiosity got the best of them both, leading them to rummage through their father's belongings.

While Tiberius and Drusus were his brothers in every possible way that mattered, and he cherished them both dearly, he couldn't help but wonder what sort of man his twin would be today. Would he have been better to fulfill this role than he? There that was that pang again, deep inside of him, that longed for his twin. Was this what went through Uncle Jullus' mind whenever he got lost in the thoughts of his own twin, now long dead. 

Tiberius' voice jolted him through his spiraling thoughts though he didn't register it until his actual name was called. And he shifted in his chair to glance at the other young man, a small smile playing at the corner of his lips. He reached across the desk to stop the inkwell before standing and stretching. "You don't have to ask me twice." He said, rolling his head to stretch out the tense muscles in his neck. His stride was lazily casual as he made his way over to follow his cousin to the balcony. 

"You know, I never remembered how quiet this place got until Drusus was no longer here." he spoke of the youngest of them all, now gone to live with their father and stepmother while they, a long with the girls, stayed in the heart of Rome. He missed the endless chatter in a way. 

"So what is for cena this evening?


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Of himself, Titus and Jullus, Tiberius was the only one with his twin still living. And Claudia Caesaris was his twin in every way, but with Titus so close to them in age and growing up together, sometimes he felt that Titus was his twin as much as his sister was. But they were different in personality; both were intelligent and bred for politics, but Tiberius tended to be solemn and serious, whilst Titus had this seemingly effortless ability to get along with everyone. His cousin turned brother envied that ability occasionally, but he was well aware of how useful it was in his new role. One that Tiberius was glad not to have; his family had suffered enough for the Caesarship.

Rather he supported Titus as much as he could. Which included offering him a distraction, especially when he seemed a little tired and unfocused, but Tiberius would pretend that he hadn't seen him playing with the signet ring. Rather his smiled as Titus rose from his desk and stretched. Though both were fit and trained as befit their station, the young Caesar was the stronger and more muscular of the two, Tiberius tending towards a slim build. "Good, because I would." He teased gently, being fully prepared to badger his brother away from his desk.

His smile faded slightly at the mention of Drusus. "It is, isn't it, though I can't blame Drusilla Augusta for wanting him with her." Her last baby, to her ailing husband. But he was missed. "Likely father doesn't trust us with him." He teased, even if it might well be partly the truth. "I'm sure he's enjoying the freedom." Running around the estate and getting into mischief. Meanwhile the young adult Imperials had almost been left to their own devices.

"Bread and moretum*, then pork sausage and salad with cabbage and beans, and I believe strawberries and honey pudding after." Maybe because some of those dishes had been childhood favourites of theirs. Tiberius particularly liked strawberries.

Two couches had been placed on either side of a low table on the balcony, so that the young men could enjoy the evening air. The fresh baked bread and moretum were waiting for them. Tiberius arranged himself on one of the couches. "I caught up with Marcus Junius Silanus yesterday." He revealed, mentioning one of the Senatorian children they'd grown up with. Two years younger than them, Marcus was the younger adopted brother of Lucius, and Junia who had been wed to Tiberius's brother Junus, before he was assassinated. Marcus was also the step-son of Flavia Juliana, their cousin via uncle Jullus, and had been amongst the children frequently found in the palace. Tiberius was fond of him, if a little troubled by the family's recent poor fortunes.

*A dip or spread made from cheese and herbs.


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