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The year is 73 AD, one hundred years after the founding of the Principate. Emperors have risen and fallen, wars have been waged, and the Roman Empire finds itself in the tenth year of Emperor Quintus Flavius Caesar Alexander Augustus, whose rule has proved strong and prosperous after a period of relative instability. However, the empire is changing; new philosophies and ideas threaten to compete with Rome’s most ancient traditions, rumors are whispered of tension along the empire’s boarders, and, as always, ambitious men and women seek to make their own mark in history. Where will you fit in? And will you survive a world where lust, treachery, and greed runs thick, or will your name fade into the recesses of history?
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April to June 73AD
Current events || Imperial Banquet (open) ||



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 Go the Distance, Celadus
Thelonius
 Posted: Jun 26 2018, 04:48 PM
Quote
Slave
28 Years Old
Safia
Rome
Gladiator
My point is, your point is pointless.


He did not make a sound as doctore ripped his left pinky nail out of the nail bed, blood welling up from the cuticle. The muscle that joined cheek to neck twitched, teeth gritted together so tightly that his chin ached, but Thelonius did not make a single fucking sound. If the guards were near enough for him to spit on, he would have. He made it a point to glare at doctore the entire time this happened. The weekly occurrence had honed the unflinching, blue-eyed stare into something that Thelonius found useful in the arena.

Ah, a small nugget of gold in a field of muddy shit. He lived a charmed life.

This marked the twentieth time. Twenty weeks. And still he had not earned back the coin lost. He supposed he should feel some bit of smugness at having demanded such a high price from Metella. The sound of grinding came as his jaw flexed. No wonder the lanista had been so upset. The sack of rotting meat housed in skin seemed less enraged at him now, though Thelonius was certain it was only a matter of time until he did something that would throw the lanista into another furious tizzy. The gladiator kept staring ahead at doctore. He should not have stopped himself, should not have let Celadus stop him… just caved in half of the crazy bitch’s face and been done with it.

Hindsight was perfect, truly. Thelonius went to turn his palms over, but arched a brow as they were pushed off the small table. No welts? And now the old man was talking. Genuine surprise flitted across the scarred face, followed quickly by suspicion, and then a frown. He opened his mouth to demand — no ask, even though it galled — why, but doctore must have known he would. Before Thelonius could even get the word out, he felt himself listing over, his head whipping to the side. Sharp, stinging heat flared, a burning line of pain blooming across his cheek. A moment later, he felt the slow trickle of liquid warmth.

There was the bloody welt.

The murmillo made a great show of working out his jaw, moving it with exaggerated effort one way, then the other. It was almost enough to make him forget the agony of his pinky, throbbing in time with his heartbeat. Chin lifting, he stood, straightening to his full height. He loomed over doctore, over the guards, and for a moment, he made certain that they knew he did. Then he simply turned on his heel and left. Fuck doctore, fuck his guards, fuck them all.

By the time Thelonius had gathered all that he needed for the ‘task’ set upon him, it was midday. Wonderful. That meant the other gladiators would be out training. It meant Celadus would as well. Why the fuck should he not have to approach the other man in full view of everyone else? He did not know what it was that doctore found so fascinating about the two of them, but the old man was bound and determined to keep mashing them together. Perhaps the old twat had a crush on Celadus and this was the only way he could watch. The tall man sighed. He made no pretense of where he was headed, no hesitation as he approached. He did wait until he was acknowledged, a faint grimace coming to his face as he noticed another pair approaching them from the west. A shrug of his shoulders and the items he carried were dropped onto the ground.

Doctore says we are to start training and sparring together. We will be in an upcoming match.” Thelonius smiled a little though there was no humour to be found in it. “Not against each other.” His chin jerked to indicate the approaching pair. “Against them.

Celadus
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Celadus
 Posted: Jun 27 2018, 02:37 PM
Quote
Slave
25 Years Old
Cat
Rome
Gladiator
I was born a jackdaw; why should I be an owl?


The days were unchanging. Get up, eat, train, train some more, sleep, get up, eat, train, train some more, sleep, get up… It was unbearable. He had thought that after two years he would be used to it, but that wasn’t the case. Not anymore, at least. Every day it became harder and harder. It hadn’t been like that in Nemausus, but here-? Maybe it was because they were in Rome, where his ancestral home was only streets away. Rome made it hard, whenever he looked around, not to be reminded of what could have been. He couldn’t keep going. He couldn’t keep doing this. It was agony.

He slumped on the bench, giving up for the morning. He’d had already trained enough and he was not prepared to do more. They could whip him, beat him, but he wasn’t going to lift the trident anymore that day, unless it was to snap the bastard thing in two. He had bruises from where the net had whipped around and struck him. The thing was lined with lead weights to add, well, weight, and they were vicious when they struck home, when he swung it a little too hard, even the practice net. In fact, it was weighed down more than the one he took into the arena in order to build up stamina and strength. It was all about getting faster, quicker, stronger, when, really, he wanted none of those things. He was content with how he was. He didn’t want to change.

Celadus stared up at the sky, wondering if one day he might be able to simply fly away. The birds did it easily enough, and if he could work out how and not plummet to the ground like Icarus… Either way, it was better than thinking about his current situation. He had always thought that daydreams were a waste of time - that he had to focus on the now - but, in a place like this, they were the only distraction, and he needed every distraction that he could get.

…except the one that now approached.

He had managed to avoid Thelonius for quite some time, but apparently that golden era was about to end. A frown immediately came to his face, and it took some effort for him to replace it with a smile. Smile, because the bastards hated it when you did. They always wanted you to be miserable. A smile was an act of defiance.

His eyebrows lifted as he listened to the words, and then he just laughed.

“Noooope,” he said, sliding to lie down on the bench. “I’m on a lunch break. Lycomedes will just have to come and tell me himself. I don’t take instructions from messengers. You could be lying for all I know. Come back when you have the fat bastard with you.”

Thelonius
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Thelonius
 Posted: Jun 28 2018, 03:12 PM
Quote
Slave
28 Years Old
Safia
Rome
Gladiator
My point is, your point is pointless.


One.

Two.

Three.

Four…


When Thelonius reached five, he turned his back on Celadus, keeping the mental count going in his head. He did not have time for this shit. The faster this was over, the faster he could return to his cell and his self-imposed solitude. It never lasted long, but fuck. this. ridiculousness. He only had to tolerate things until the evenings. Then he was free, if only until morning. It was trading one cage for another, he knew, but being away from the ludus had its merits.

He crouched on the ground, strapping the fasciae to his legs, left, then right. The ocrea came next, plain dull things that were suitable for practice spars. Each time he fastened a buckle, tightened the thin leather bands, he bit back a wince, left hand aching, his pinky there throbbing with fire. An equally ugly and basic balteus went around his waist, manica then secured to his sword arm. For once, he did not bother with the helmet; his domina’s small human had demanded that he fight without it from now on. The boy had tried to say something about how it was the only way his friends would believe him, but as the child’s voice had grown in both pitch and volume, the gladiator had stopped listening. Thelonius could have made some sort of excuse as to why keeping the helmet on was necessary, but he had only been too happy to oblige the little one. That it was for entirely selfish reasons was nothing that the boy or his mother needed to know.

At forty-five, the murmillo was armoured and ready. Gladius and scutum were in hand and he smiled a little at the opposing pair, straightening to his full height. He forced himself to tighten his grip around the hilt. There was no pain, none at all. He deliberately ignored the way the way hot needles lanced through his entire pinky finger, straight up into his palm, shooting up his arm and directly into his brain. Of course doctore would have the nail ripped out of that hand. Their eyes went to the bloody welt on his cheek, but no one mentioned it. Good. He did not need their pity.

“Are you sure?”

He only knew the pair by name, Brutus and Pera, but he smiled a little at them all the same, lifting his sword in a mock salute. Thelonius knew he was good enough to keep them at bay for a while, at least, but he would lose. It was only a matter of time. It was no reason to give in though. Brutus was armed as a dimachaerus, Pera as a thrax. Broad shoulders tensed as they moved to a clear space in the courtyard. The pairings did not make any sense to him, but he supposed that none of it had to.

“I promise to go easy on you both.”

Then then there was no time for any more words. He slammed his shield against Pera's smaller one, shoving as hard as he could. He managed to push the man back a step, enough so that he could take a swing, then another, at Brutus. Metal clanged against metal as the armguard deflected one of the dimachaerus’ swords, the impact jarring through his body, setting his teeth on edge. Thelonius kicked out, catching the very side of Brutus’ thigh, unbalancing the man. He hissed in frustration as Pera came at him again, cutting off any chance he had to eliminate the other man. The murmillo lifted his shield and took the oncoming charge, turning at the last moment to deflect some of the momentum.

Celadus
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Celadus
 Posted: Jun 29 2018, 01:53 PM
Quote
Slave
25 Years Old
Cat
Rome
Gladiator
I was born a jackdaw; why should I be an owl?


It seemed, as the first clack sounded, that apparently he had been speaking to himself; that Thelonius was not going to get the doctor and was instead going to take on the other two fighters by himself. The idiot.

Of course, Celadus made no move to, well, move as he continued to stare up at the sky, content to remain where he was. He was not going to join in with the fighting, although he knew that was probably what was expected. Right now, after all, he should be rushing to his dear friend’s aid! Fuck that. It wasn’t happening. He shifted a little, pillowing his head on his hands, and shut his eyes.

He had been absolutely serious about getting Lycomedes, because there was no way that he was fighting in a pair. He had always fought alone, and he would continue to do so, especially because retiarii caught murmillones and slaughtered them. They did not band together. Throw in the fact that he didn’t trust Thelonius; the man was far, far too hot-headed, too inclined to act now and think later – if he ever actually thought -, and that was too much of a risk. Celadus was not putting his life on the line, was not dying in the arena, because some tosser had decided it would be amusing to pair them together.

Unfortunately the sound of fighting made it hard to relax, and, after a moment, he pushed himself up, biting back on his annoyance. Why was it that Thelonius always made his life so much more miserable?

A look of surprise crossed his face, though, as he took in the other two fighters, and he suddenly leaped up and off the bench, running towards them, eyes intent.

“Pera!” He launched himself at the other man just as the other was about to strike, interrupting the fight and wrapping the thrax in a hug. “You fucking bastard! It really is you! What in Hades are you doing here?”

He’d known Pera from Nemausus. The other gladiator had been one of the first he had fought, and one of the few to actually win against him. Weirdly, that loss had caused a strange friendship to blossom between them.

“You’re not fighting him,” he said, this time turning to Thelonius, arm slung around Pera’s shoulder, his words now back to Latin, is previous, those to Pera, having been in Greek. “He’s a good friend of mine. I think we should tell Lycomedes to fuck off, and all go for a drink instead. What do you think?”

Thelonius
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Thelonius
 Posted: Jun 30 2018, 01:24 AM
Quote
Slave
28 Years Old
Safia
Rome
Gladiator
My point is, your point is pointless.


Thelonius said nothing, blue eyes impassive as he watched the two men in front of him. He could feel the sweat slowly gathering at the nape of his neck, beading, then rolling to slide down between his shoulders and back. His chest rose, then fell as he took a deep breath. He braced his shield on the ground in front of him before leaning lightly onto it.

So he was to stop what he was doing because Celadus and Pera were supposed friends? Good ones, at that. He was not permitted to fight the thrax either. Again, because Celadus said so. Was he supposed to care, to give a damn, simply because the other man told him to? Apparently so. Should he bark and hump the retitarius’ leg in response? There was a good dog! And when he was done that, was he to ask how high he should jump? Resentment, molten hot, crashed over the tall man. His vision blurred for a blistering moment, but the haze soon passed. He could not take three of them on, that much he knew. The murmillo let sword and shield fall from his fingers, turning away. He was not about to join them for anything outside of this ridiculousness. High and mighty Celadus could go fuck himself and his good friend Pera.

… though telling doctore to kindly die in a fire was rather tempting.

The dull, fleshy sound of impact sounded a split second before the world exploded. The sky exchanged places with the ground. Sheer reflex saved him, his arms bracing, hands splaying, skin burning at the collision of knees and palms against dirt and sand. He caught himself from landing face first. He rolled away as quickly as he could, managing to lift himself into a half crouch before he could rise no further. The back of his knee pounded, strangely numb, refusing to support his weight. It locked, then seized completely. The constant hurt of his hands was completely overridden.

Brutus, it would seem, had not agreed to stop fighting. But of course not. Celadus had interfered and distracted him, leaving him open for Brutus. Thelonius did not react, refused to give them any sort of satisfaction, did not look at any of them, did nothing but sit himself down. Something deep in his chest stung suddenly, icy and horrible, his throat feeling as if it was closing. He did not like it, did not want to feel it. So he cut himself off from his emotions, focusing instead on the pain that cascaded through his leg as he slowly tried to flex it. What did he think? What did he think? He thought about twisting each of their necks, around and around, until the fragile cartilage and bone snapped. He thought about squeezing their heads, harder, tighter, until the tops of their skulls burst outwards like overripe fruit. Most of all, he thought about wanting to be anywhere but here.

“If I had known that Brutus was not going to stop, I would not have.” Theloinus’ voice was completely flat and devoid of any inflection. “I do not drink so I will have to decline. But you and Pera do have fun.”

Celadus
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Celadus
 Posted: Jun 30 2018, 03:00 PM
Quote
Slave
25 Years Old
Cat
Rome
Gladiator
I was born a jackdaw; why should I be an owl?


Crack!

And there went Brutus’ nose. It hadn’t been clean, it hadn’t been honourable, but then fighting never was. It was all about who could take down their opponent first, who could retaliate the quickest, the fastest, using whatever means necessary. You couldn’t stop, extend an olive branch, and hope that you could be friends. He had hoped that you could, but apparently not.

There was a moment’s satisfaction as blood spurted from Brutus’ nose, as the other gladiator fell and collapsed to the ground, but it was brief. Irritation quickly overtook it. He didn’t know Brutus, had never met him, but no doubt the other was in the Greek’s gang. Any other man would have jumped at the chance to stop, but not him, apparently. There was no point fighting against each other when they would be facing another school in the arena. You could practice all you liked, but it would get you nowhere. The likes of them facing a thaex or a dimachaerus were zero to none. Lycomedes was just being his usual twatish self.

Celadus flexed his fist, testing it, sure that he had broken a bone. It throbbed. There was a certain way to punch someone, he knew, to save your hand and not injure yourself, but he had acted on the spur of the moment, had simply reacted, retaliated, seen red and attacked back without thought. It was worth a broken bone, he supposed, to put the bastard on his arse.

The irritation slowly subsided as he turned his attention to Thelonius. He couldn’t help but feel a little smugness at their positions being reversed, but that, too, didn’t last as he wondered once again whether Thelonius set out to be a complete and utter odious toad, to see just how much he could offend and upset everyone around him. You got so far, and then you were quickly rebuffed.

“It’s amazing that you’re still alive, then, if you ‘do not drink’,” Celadus finally replied, his voice just as flat. He smiled tightly, “Because I’ve never known anyone to survive beyond a week without at least some water. Are you some kind of demigod, perhaps? Either way, you really are an arsehole. Don’t you know when someone is trying to be your friend? To include and invite you? Well, fuck you, Thelonius. We’ll go have fun, then, without you, if that’s how you want it.”

Thelonius
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Thelonius
 Posted: Jun 30 2018, 11:00 PM
Quote
Slave
28 Years Old
Safia
Rome
Gladiator
My point is, your point is pointless.


Words… words and words and more words. That was Celadus’ way. It was still beyond aggravating, the man still beyond infuriating, but perhaps Thelonius had been mistaken about what the other man had intended. He had not expected the retitarius to retaliate against the dimachaerus. Just as he had not expected Celadus to try and help him against Metella.

Words were just that… words.

Thelonius smiled then, the expression sitting crookedly on his face as the corners of blue eyes crinkled. “I have never had anyone try to be my friend. Demigods are notoriously difficult and utter assholes, you see.” It was difficult to say, even more difficult to believe, but who the fuck cared? It didn’t matter what he believed… it never had before. Why should it now? The fact that Celadus had broken Brutus’ nose was satisfying in and of itself. Broad shoulders rolled back, head tilting to the side ever-so-slightly as brows lifted inquisitively. “So you do not break noses for just me then?”

His pride stung as it took several tries before he could get his leg to work well enough to support his weight. Thelonius sucked in a hissing breath through clenched teeth as he forced himself to stand, straightening slowly to his full height. He would be limping for days, but he supposed he should be grateful that he could walk without the aid of a brace or splint. He would have made sure to maim Brutus for that. Movement at the very edges of his vision had him tensing and whirling towards it, but it turned out to be Lycomedes, the man’s ugly face even uglier, the perpetual scowl having somehow twisted into an even more ferocious glower.

It was too much. Perhaps he truly was going mad; perhaps he already had, driven it to it by the stupid pigfucker in front of him. Of all the things he should have felt, amusement was not supposed to be one of them, and yet it was amusement that overwhelmed everything else, that made the pain inconsequential. Thelonius began laughing. It was a faltering, hesitant sound at first, but it grew, changed, becoming a solid, living thing. When doctore finally reached them, the murmillo gave a mock salute, grinning.

“You just missed a most rousing game of morra.” He looked at Celadus before turning his gaze and thrusting his chin out to indicate Brutus. “The odd man out is buying the rest of us drinks.”

Celadus
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Celadus
 Posted: Jul 1 2018, 10:39 AM
Quote
Slave
25 Years Old
Cat
Rome
Gladiator
I was born a jackdaw; why should I be an owl?




It was tempting to not just stop with Brutus, but to continue on and punch Thelonius in his insufferable face. Celadus’ hand even went so went far as to twitch. He didn’t know why he bothered with trying to include Thelonius when simply listening to the other speak was like listening to the shrill squeal of metal against metal, the sound all but setting his teeth on edge. The way the man spoke was not natural, not like anyone else, like he placed himself above everyone else. If there was anyone who should do that, it should be him, Celadus, because had been born so, so far above this cesspit.

Sometimes the pain of having to deal with all this shit, with all these men, was overwhelming; far too much to bear. It was at these moments that reality slammed its way back into him, too loud, too big, to deny. It was at these moments that he fought to breathe, felt dizzy, felt his heart pound much, much too fast as icy cold fear clutched at his gut. There was no changing it. There was really no getting away. There was no pretending.

And it was happening more and more because of the bastard in front of him. Celadus just wanted him to shut up, to stop causing trouble, to stop making everything that bit harder. He wanted him gone. He never wanted to see him again. He didn’t want to have to deal

Breathe, breathe, the mantra started, just breathe, even as his breaths came quicker, faster. They could have left, could have gone before the doctor was even aware that they were missing, but, no, nothing simple like that could ever happen.

He smiled at Lycomedes, doing his best to seem perfectly innocent: happy and content with his lot in life. Training as a gladiator was the most enjoyable thing in the world! It was marvellous! Wonderful! An honour! Although he wanted nothing more than to throw himself on the sword and end it all.

“We were practicing hand-to-hand combat as a warm-up, and it seems to have gone slightly wrong. Brutus moved forward when he should have dodged, and, well…” Celadus shrugged his shoulders, all the while looking at Thelonius.

If looks could kill…

Well, there would be one dead gladiator.

Thelonius
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Thelonius
 Posted: Jul 2 2018, 05:47 PM
Quote
Slave
28 Years Old
Safia
Rome
Gladiator
My point is, your point is pointless.


He met Celadus stare for stare. So this was how it was to be then? Very well. The tall man could not say what possessed him, did not understand where this hard, cold edge that cut his chest in half came from. Withdrawing had not worked; trying to keep to himself did not work; there was no avoiding Celadus, no being left in peace when the other man was involved… and now the only escape he had, he could not get to because of this!

Rage flared, sharp and quick and the murmillo let it fill him. He limped a step forward, biting down the surge of molten heat. He would probably be able to get to his cell without help, but he did not think he could navigate the streets, cover the distance to his domina’s home by himself. And he would rather eat barbed steel than ask any one of these bastards for help. He would never hear the end of it, for one, and that was assuming that they did not leave him for dead in a ditch somewhere along the way.

Would the small human miss him? Now that was an odd thought… why would the boy miss him at all? He was still a slave, an investment, currently of use to the boy’s mother… that was all. It did not make him feel any better, only angrier.

Thelonius took another faltering step towards Doctore, chin lifting, jaw clenching. Fuck the old bastard and his fucking stupid ideas. The lanista could not have him killed, not when he belonged to another. That had quite a few merits, he was coming to find. He could still be beaten within an inch of his life, apparently, but the pain would end. He would heal. And he was so sick of this shit.

“Do not let them fool you, Lycomedes.” He grinned, hands spreading, taking the full brunt of the old man’s horrible attention. “I just proposed to Celadus. Perhaps you would be willing to do the honours, since it was you who… introduced us in the first place. What do you say?”

Celadus
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Celadus
 Posted: Jul 3 2018, 03:28 PM
Quote
Slave
25 Years Old
Cat
Rome
Gladiator
I was born a jackdaw; why should I be an owl?


Lycomedes turned red, and then redder still, to the very tip of his ears, his lips pressed into a thin, hard line. He made a sound, somewhere between a grunt and a growl, utterly indecipherable, and most definitely not Latin. His eyes narrowed, and he reached out with one arm, viciously jabbing a finger at the both of them, ignoring both Pera and the other, still groaning, gladiator. They may as well have not existed. He looked only at Thelonius and Celadus.

“The both of you. Cell. Now. Don't even think about arguing!”

And Celadus swore.

Fuck’s sake!

Thelonius
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Thelonius
 Posted: Jul 4 2018, 01:47 AM
Quote
Slave
28 Years Old
Safia
Rome
Gladiator
My point is, your point is pointless.


And once again, to the cell!

Lycomedes was losing his edge.

Thelonius did not look anywhere else but ahead, limping towards what was now as familiar to him as his cell. Perhaps even moreso. He did not expect any help and he received none, each step going slower and slower. It took longer and longer for him to put one foot in front of the other, left, right, left, right… left… right…

When he turned the corner, he could pretend no more. Hopefully beyond anyone’s line of sight, he let out a sharp gasp, forced to pivot on his good leg before he simply keeled over. Scars twinged as he pressed back against the wall before the final stretch of open space before the box. He closed his eyes, focusing on breathing in and out, leaning heavily on the stone behind him. Fucking Brutus. Fucking Celadus. Fucking being set up like that by those cunt nuggets… what did that make him? He had fallen for it! Trying to be his friend indeed.

Fuck them all.

By the time he collapsed inside the box, he could not tell what hurt and what did not; it was all fiery throbbing pain. He knew that Celadus was with him by the sound of the other man’s breathing, but he did not recall when exactly the retitarius had entered. Thelonius threw an arm over his eyes, covering his face, focusing solely on not screaming. If he did not keep moving his leg, he knew his knee would swell up… it would be days until it went down, and that was if he was lucky. But he could not seem to make himself stand, or even sit.

What was the point?

He had a way out, away from doctore, away from Celadus… even if only briefly. It was just another cage, albeit larger and far more pleasant. But he did not care. His domina was kind to him, her small human delighted by his mere presence. Even if it was a gilded cage, it was better than this, this being stuck here, chained and trapped with no fucking escape. In the darkness, he yanked on the chains with his free arm, frustration and disappointment growing and growing.

Celadus
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Celadus
 Posted: Jul 4 2018, 02:21 PM
Quote
Slave
25 Years Old
Cat
Rome
Gladiator
I was born a jackdaw; why should I be an owl?


It was hardest when he was in the cell; hard to focus, hard to think, hard to concentrate, hard to even just breathe. Hardest of all was trying to cling to that sense of detachment. It was hard to pretend that this wasn’t real when the walls were bearing down on him, when he couldn’t even walk, couldn’t step more than a couple of paces in each direction, and when there was clearly no escape.

Celadus buried his head in his eyes and shut his eyes, trying to ignore the mounting panic, the fear that clawed at his throat. Breathe. Breathe. Just breathe. Breathe…

He was going to get out. They never kept him in here for too long. What was the point? He needed to train. He was a gladiator. He needed to keep fit. It would just be a day at most. Not weeks. Not months. He wouldn’t be trapped in the dark forever.

He was all too aware of the chain around his ankle, and it took every bit of strength not to kick at it, pull it; try and get the fucking thing off. There was no getting removing it, he knew. He’d tried the first time he’d been thrown in here alone, and all he had managed to do was make his fingers bloody and rip off his nails. All he could do was wait, wait and bear it.

Fucking Thelonius! The fucking arsehole! The sanctimonious prick! The bastard! The sheer, utter bastard! He wouldn’t be here if not for him!

“Why didn’t you play along?” he snapped, head still buried in his hands, making his voice muffled. Breathe, the mantra repeated. Breathe. Just breathe. But he couldn’t. He couldn’t. He really couldn’t. He hated this cell. Hated it. “What the fuck was that about a proposal? Why the hell did you have to wind him up? Bait him? No. Why the fuck did you have to wave at him and get his attention in the first place?” He lifted his head finally, staring through the darkness at the other man. “We could have avoided all this if you’d played along! Do you just love being in here with me or something? You utter, complete arsehole! Well I don’t. I hate it! I hate you!”

Thelonius
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Thelonius
 Posted: Jul 4 2018, 04:02 PM
Quote
Slave
28 Years Old
Safia
Rome
Gladiator
My point is, your point is pointless.


“Play along? PLAY ALONG?” Incredulity made his voice higher, louder, the sound echoing throughout the tiny cell before bouncing back to his ears, the stone distorting the words until they rang as incoherent noises. Or perhaps that was merely him, his vision blurring before a strange… haze dropped over his eyes.

FUCK YOU!” Thelonius roared, realizing he was on his feet only when the chains snapped taut, jerking him back half a step. Incensed, he tried to lunge at Celadus again, venting out his utter frustration at being unable to reach the other man with an inarticulate scream. “Play along after you set me up for Brutus to lame me?”

The laugh that came was desperate and hysterical. The nerve. The gall. He knew Celadus held himself as being better, but he had not thought the other man was petty and cruel. Gods below, what a joke. What a glorious, horrible joke!

“What was it? You could not stand the fact that I was bought? That I could leave here at night?” Metal squealed against stone as Thelonius pulled against them as hard as he could, feeling the manacles dig into his wrists. Even then, he could not stop. He wanted to wrap his hands around Celadus’ neck and twist.

“Well, you should be thrilled then. I am trapped here now, the same as you, just like you wanted. So thank you.” The words were spat out with venom, the rage that surged and frothed trembling just beneath the surface. The retitarius hated him? Well, the feeling was very much returned. “I want you to die. Just shut up. SHUT UP!!”

Celadus
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Celadus
 Posted: Jul 5 2018, 07:28 AM
Quote
Slave
25 Years Old
Cat
Rome
Gladiator
I was born a jackdaw; why should I be an owl?


Ice. There was no heat. Only ice. A burning ice that seared its way through the pit of his stomach. He could not breathe. He could not breathe, the intensity of his hate threatening to overwhelm him. His eyes glared daggers, but he made no move to attack. There was no point. He couldn’t reach him, and, even if he could, death was too good for the bastard. Celadus wanted him to hurt. He wanted him to burn.

And underneath all this searing, burning hate there was disbelief.

He wondered for a moment if he was dreaming, because there was no way that this was happening, that the other man could be so stupid, so oblivious, so much of a fucking idiot. No way. The gods were just having a laugh. He was being played with. This was all some kind of sick, sick joke.

His voice was quiet as he spoke, flat, lacking in all and any emotions. He wanted to yell. He wanted to scream. He wanted most of all to laugh and laugh and laugh, and keep on laughing.

“If I set you up,” he said, “why would I then go and break his nose for hurting you? Why would I even set you up, Thelonius? I didn’t know he was going to turn around and attack you. I thought he was just as reluctant to fight as the rest of us! I just wanted a fucking drink! And why in Pluto’s name would I care that you were bought? Why would I be jealous? Don’t you remember what she did to me? Beat me, starved me, almost fucking branded me, so why the hell would I want to leave the ludus? I’m happier here! Well, not here, because I’m in this fucking cell again with you, because you couldn’t just… just be fucking normal for once in your life, but why the fuck would I ever be that petty? I want to make Lycomedes life hell, sure, but yours? What reason have I got to do that?

"What the fuck, Thelonius?"

Thelonius
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Thelonius
 Posted: Jul 5 2018, 04:51 PM
Quote
Slave
28 Years Old
Safia
Rome
Gladiator
My point is, your point is pointless.


Of all the times, of all the things that could have happened, Dareios’ words from seemingly a lifetime ago came echoing back in his head like some bad, bad dream. It even rang with the same irritating singsong quality that the little shit enjoyed using.

“I would say that if someone saves your ass, the likelihood of them hating you is very slim. Because otherwise they’d let you die.” And it seemed that what Celadus was saying… made the boy’s words… right. That could not be, could it? Why would the retitarius not hate him…? What reason did he have for not wanting to make his life hell? And who in their right mind would admit to Dareios ever being correct? That was just what Thelonius needed; he would never ever hear the end of it.

Gods below… this was too much. This was all just… too much.

He let out a sound that was somewhere between a laugh and a sob, his hands lifting to his face. The heels of his palms dug into his eyes as he pressed them there as hard as he could, hoping, praying that whatever it was that he was feeling, this horrible tightness in his chest, the scalding rage, the molten resentment… would just go away. His leg gave out as he tried to move back to his corner, the other uninjured one not able to support the sudden weight of the gladiator’s entire frame. He fell, knees and shoulder smacking painfully against stone. He did not bother to stop from groaning; why bother? What was the point? Rolling onto his back, he resumed shoving the heels of his palms against his closed eyes.

“I do not understand you.” A slight, hysterical laugh not cut off quickly enough. “Not at all.”

He scrubbed at his face, stifling another gasp as he shifted, feeling something in his knee pop. Thelonius pressed it as best he could against the cold stone, hoping that would leech out some of the heat, numb some of the pain, bring down the swelling. The joint felt… tight, rubbing together when he tried to move it in a way that it should not. He crushed the sudden jolt of fear; it would be fine. He would be fine. And he would beat Brutus until the asshole’s face caved in.

“This is me being normal. I cannot… be any other way.” Thelonius did not know if he was making any sense. “Lycomedes… enjoys this. Enjoys being cruel. Enjoys the suffering. I had a friend, once. Lycomedes had us fight one another, in the arena. I won. It was not enough. I was made to kill him.”

Even quieter. “I remember what she did to you. Why did you help me? Why did you break Brutus’ nose for hurting me? You hate me. You said so yourself.”

Celadus
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