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'Tis but a scratch


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June, 77AD – about two weeks after Learning the Hard Way

 

Marcus was not feeling great. It had been a few weeks now, since that incident with Varus. His bruises were more or less gone now and the stitched eyebrow was healing well too, although there would be a scar. So far, if anyone asked, he explained that he’d fallen down some stairs in the villa, because he’d been drunk. And apparently such an incident didn’t make him think because he was almost always drunk now. Which also meant he didn’t show up to do his duties as one of the vigintiviri either, so he definitely was not honoring his father or his family name.

 Instead he was either in his own rooms in the villa, or, if he suspected Tiberius might attempt to talk to him, he’d excuse himself and find somewhere else in Rome to camp and drink. And avoid people asking questions. He didn’t want to lie to Tiberius. Then he’d rather avoid him.

 That’s exactly what he had done today, again. Found a random, cheap tavern and drowned his misery in wine. He should never have talked to Charis or attempted to share gossip with her. It had backfired so bad. So bad. She’d been right, her husband was powerful and he had made sure to teach Marcus a lesson he wouldn’t soon forget, if ever. Fuck all that. Fuck everyone. Marcus had wanted to climb high so badly, but it seemed all he did was fall.

 He hadn’t dared to go the Via Lata and find one of the better tavernas or popinas, as he usually did. Instead he lowered himself to the subura, near the brothels and the gangs, but at least here he wasn’t so well known. At some point during the evening, he was escorted roughly out of the taverna he’d found, because a barmaid had apparently been offended by his way of dismissing her. He scraped his knee as he fell outside, but he'd gone through worse now and he ignored it. Then, alone, he made his way back to the villa. At least it was evening. Hopefully that meant he could avoid people and questions once more. He'd done that well so far. He walked into the villa, thinking he was being quiet. He was anything but that though.

@Sharpie

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It was evening, which meant that Tiberius had finished his work for the day and left Jason to do whatever he needed to do before he was needed to help Tiberius prepare for bed. Jason was passing through the atrium by the villa's main door when it opened to admit Marcus Junius Silanus, worse for wear and looking... Well, the expression was a combination of angry and upset and probably some other things Jason couldn't or wouldn't name. He looked somewhat drunk on top of everything else.

He was halfway across the atrium, too far from any doorway to duck out of sight - he had been trying to keep a low profile where Junius Silanus was concerned after his first run-in with the man, and didn't think that any further interaction with him was likely to go any better. Well, he was about to find out just how right he was on that score.

 

@Atrice

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Marcus closed the doors behind him, as he didn't see any slaves to do it for him, as he had hoped would be the case. Slaves though, usually didn't ask so many questions and most knew better than to ask him question. Marcus was much better at giving orders, although he hadn't given many lately. Mostly to Silvanus, who stuck to his side, except for when Marcus told him not to. Like tonight. He had no idea where his body slave was now, but it also didn't matter. He just needed to get to bed, there was nothing more to do tonight.

But as he crossed into the atrium of the villa, he wasn't alone after all. Jason was there. Fuck. He had elegantly avoided Tiberius since the beating, and thus also avoided Jason. He didn't know if Tiberius had even wondered why Marcus wasn't there or why there was always an excuse, whenever his friend called for him. No matter, he didn't want to lie to his friend, so he'd rather just not see him at all. He could hardly admit what really happened. If he shared a name and Varus found out, he feared for what would happen to him then. Just offending the man had been plenty! And he told Marcus not to tell.

So he stopped in his tracks, strangely uncertain of what to do or what to say. Perhaps he should man up. Act his rank! He should! Jason was just a slave. And Marcus would be expected to say something to him, wouldn't he? 

"Have you seen Silvanus?" Marcus simply asked Jason then, asking for his own body slave was a valid question, wasn't it? 

@Sharpie

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"No, sir," he answered - he hadn't, either; he'd been busy with Tiberius and thought that Silvanus had likewise been with his own master. Tiberius had been worried about his friend, though he hadn't said as much to Jason. Even with things between Tiberius and Jason being a little more equal, it was only a little more and he hadn't said anything to Jason outright... but Jason was in the room often enough to hear when things were said.

Not that Tiberius was one to gossip at all; very far from it. But Jason was observant, and Tiberius hadn't exactly taken pains to hide his concern.

It wasn't as though Jason could exactly say any of that to the man in question, though - especially after the last time they'd crossed each other's path.

"I can look for him if you want," he said - he'd likely get told to whether he offered or not. He very nearly asked if there was anything wrong but managed to bite his tongue before uttering the words. Junius Silanus seemed the type to take it out on slaves who were too observant around him, probably thinking it insolence if not downright disrespect.

 

@Atrice

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At least the bruises were almost gone. But they might ask about the cracked eyebrow. Well, he fell down the stairs, that's what he'd said. And while he didn't like to lie to Tiberius, Jason might not be an issue. At least it was just Jason. Marcus, despite being drunk, managed to say something that sounded reasonable to Jason and the slave said he had not seen Silvanus. As expected. He had no idea what his body slave was doing tonight, since he'd been dismissed because Marcus wanted to go out alone. He brushed the tunic he wore, realizing it might have become a bit dirty after he was thrown out of the taverna. 

Then he thought he'd continue walking, but Jason continued to talk to him.

"No need. I just need to get to my chambers." He said, "You can fetch me something to drink, I'm not sure if I have any." Although he probably shouldn't drink more tonight. But he might fall asleep better. 

@Sharpie

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It would pay to be cautious around Junius Silanus, Jason was more than aware of that after his last encounter with the man. But he was Tiberius' friend and couldn't be avoided forever, especially now they'd crossed paths again with Silvanus somewhere in the villa.

The man looked somewhat the worse for wear, with a dirty tunic and a new scar in his eyebrow. The girls might like that - girls liked the mystery that scars exuded, after all.

He seemed somewhat less than sober - and Tiberius hadn't seen him in a while, either. From everything Jason had managed to glean over the past few weeks, he seemed to have been ignoring his political duties, too. Tiberius hadn't said so in as many words, but Jason knew that he was beginning to worry about his friend.

"Do you... Would you..." How to offer a supporting hand to the man, who was swaying and didn't seem quite as acquainted with vertical as he should. Jason took a silent breath, knowing he was risking a slap, especially given the other's usual temperament and current state. "Shall I help you to your rooms, sir?"

He'd get a very well-watered jug of wine for him afterwards, but he had to get there first.

 

@Atrice

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