Rarely ever, did Lucius make anyone do anything, so that much really could've gone unspoken. He'd just figured he'd point it out, because maybe it'd be a good thing to remember, at the moment. Marcus, on the other hand, was a whole other story, and despite Lucius not putting words to it, he recognized that much. His father was great at making people do things, whether it was intentional or not. Theoretically, one could argue, Lucius' decision to leave Cassimer was Marcus making him do something, because it wasn't as if Lucius would've come to that conclusion, if it weren't for a whole host of complexities all rooted in Marcus. Everything went back to him, eventually, and despite wishing he was, Lucius was not as stupid as he often pretended to be.
"It's not important right this second," he said, eventually, albeit he didn't sound like he totally believed it wasn't. "And things might still work out." He certainly didn't sound like he believed that. Marcus wasn't bending, and to put it bluntly, Lucius was sick of being the one that did. Of course, it was generally expected that he would be, if only because he was the son, and Marcus was the head of house. And why was that, anyway? Merely because Marcus had managed, somehow, to remain the baddest cat in Dalmasca for the last who knew how long, precisely, and somehow, no one had managed to knock him off his proverbial high horse. The thought of being the one that did it, had crossed his mind on occasion, but he really didn't need to be tumbling down the rabbit hole that was patricide, either.
Things balanced themselves, eventually. Lucius just wondered if he'd be around to see it, when they did.
"Anyway, that's pretty depressing stuff. Just, the rumors are about, by now, and I didn't want you hearing about it from someone that wasn't me." It seemed a bit rude, but maybe his concept of 'rude' was a bit odd. A lot of things about him were odd, it was something Lucius was starting to get accustomed to. He had to leave soon for another military excursion, anyway, so really, none of this mattered right this second. Who knew, maybe he'd go and he'd not come back, anyway. Lucius almost said something else, almost told his brother, if anything happened to him, to just do himself a favor, and run to Livia or something, because Lucius was quite sure Damian would be expected to replace him, and Lucius was also quite sure, Damian couldn't do it. Damian was smart, though. He'd do what he had to. Hopefully, he'd remember which people to turn to, if he did.
He didn't mind. Okay. It was worth asking, he thought, because just assuming... apparently got him in a lot more trouble than he'd first thought. Of course it did, because Cygnus wasn't good with unspoken things, and things that only sort of made sense, and whatever. Maybe he'd just get into the habit of always asking, until he didn't need to, anymore, and could figure out the answers himself. It was difficult to decide what to do here, but it was more difficult figuring it out on his own. Clearly, he wasn't very good at it.
A lot of energy? Cygnus looked confused, for a moment, but then thought about it, or tried, at least. Yeah, maybe that was right. Kassandros and Icarus could hold still, if nothing else, but Cygnus had never mastered that. He always wanted to be doing something, needed something interesting to mess with. Apparently, it'd started getting him into trouble. Well, no, he'd only just realized it was, it'd probably been getting him into trouble for years, now.
Sculpting? Cygnus didn't know much about sculpting. Sounded kind of fun, though. "What's glassblowing?" he asked. He'd heard the term before, in passing, but he'd never really focused on it long enough to realize he had no idea what that was. Was it like, blowing bubbles out of glass? That didn't make sense. Glass was kind of neat, though, if Cyprian had figured out how to work with it, maybe he'd see if he wouldn't mind teaching him. The way he had it figured, the worst that happened was, he said no, or something.
That was the worst thing, right? Hmm. He couldn't think of how that might be insulting. And Icarus wouldn't vaguely suggest something that'd be a bad idea, at least. That decided, what was glassblowing? Well, he probably shouldn't ask again. "Weren't you sleeping?" he asked, frowning a bit. He should be going to sleep; Kassi had told him to, at least. And, maybe Sandalio was right, and he should just, do what Kassi said for once.
If there was to be a bright side to this, it was that, at the very least, he always knew what he was supposed to be doing. Helene was very good at managing the day-to-day affairs, probably why the owner had eventually left such tasks to her, and no one was ever left floundering. When she could, she even tried leaving few-minute break gaps between things. Sometimes, it didn't pan out that way, but Helene tried, and most of them here appreciated that.
They had a new one, now. Kalix had decided to take that one under their wing, so to speak, but Kalix often did. There was only so much Julian could help with, anyway, given he actually had it rather easy. Technically, he was still a citizen. There were many things he didn't have to deal with, that they did. Admittedly, this often led to some semblance of resentment, and so, generally, he kept that detail to himself. This one might've been in the same situation, if Dalmasca wasn't as terrible to its people as it was to its slaves, but, here they were.
He was just meandering back, from a trip to the store. After letting Helene know he was back, he headed down the hall, back to his room, and almost ran into someone on the way. Reflexively, he started to apologize, but then looked up and froze. ... wow, that was like looking in a mirror, if mirrors showed your past self, and not the present one. How did he look so much like him? For a moment, he wondered if he should be questioning this more than he was, but, it seemed right, to him. Damian should be twenty... one, now, if he remembered right, about this one's age.
Staring was rude. Julian moved to the side, then, so the other could go about his way. It was, at least, good to know Marcus hadn't killed his son, but he thought better of saying that.
Lucius tilted his head slightly, in almost a nod. "Well, Kassandros is the best healer I know," he said. "If anybody can save him, it'd be that guy." At least, that was how he was choosing to look at it. If Kassandros couldn't, well, apparently Dimitrios wasn't meant to make it. And that was a sad thing, it was a relatively stupid thing to die over, but, sometimes things just turned out that way. Lucius tried not to think about things like that, too long. It was easier, that way.
Good. He didn't think Damian would mind, and someone had to stay here and watch the kids, at least. Of course, Lucius wasn't getting any younger, and long journeys like that one were a thing he was capable of doing, but, he really preferred not to, unless he had to. Seeing Damian and their mother was toward the top of that list of things he considered necessary enough to make the trip, but, since Damian was around, and might be interested in seeing if Dimitrios was at least alive, and apparently wasn't opposed to making the trip, Lucius would just, let him do it.
Honestly, Lucius was only thirty, but sometimes, you'd probably think he was nearing sixty.
A snort loosed. Yeah, there were a lot of reasons, being honest. On the other hand, nothing specific stood out. It was just a culmination of many different things, compiled over the years, and by the time Lucius realized that collection had reached far above his head, he'd decided it was time to throw in the towel. His father was a fucking psycho, and quite honestly, wasn't a very good father. The only things Marcus was good at, were talking his way out of trouble, bribery, and ruining people's lives. Those weren't really things Lucius was proud to have his father be good at. Those weren't things anyone should be good at, but this was the Dalmasca they lived in, all the same.
Sometimes, he wondered, what'd become of Damian, if anything ever happened to him. Quite bluntly, Lucius was waiting for Marcus to turn on him, next. Damian hadn't done anything to spark his ire, but Lucius never really stopped sparking it. By now, it had to be rather the inferno, and as it happened, the Cassimer armies were starting to favor Lucius over his father. There were reasons for that, but ultimately it all led to the same thing. Lucius was, technically, a threat to him, and by now, Lucius damn well knew what Marcus did with threats.
"A combination of things, really," he said, shrugging a bit. He did sit up, finally, resting his arms on his legs. "I thought, maybe, that --" No, word that different. "... that maybe we could work things out, between us, find a middle ground. Marcus won't bend. I don't know why I ever thought he would. He is pretty set in his ways. It's just better for me, I think, if I went my own way. At least then, I wouldn't be tarnishing the Cassimer name, or whatever the fuck he said last time he went off." After a point, Lucius started blocking it out. "I won't ask you to choose between us, Damian. You're always welcome to visit and stuff, you know that."
It wasn't like Cygnus was terribly good at thinking, anyway. Maybe, instead, he'd just ask Icarus or something. Maybe, someday, it'd start making sense, in his head, and one day he wouldn't have to ask, anymore. He wasn't sure if that was how things like that worked, but it was worth a try. It was the only thing he could come up with to do. It wasn't as if anyone had any other answers, because things like this seemed to be fairly rare. As far as he knew, he was the only one in Dalmasca that dealt with this, maybe the only one anywhere. He'd met a lot of people in his short life -- he could decide that relatively confidently. Or, maybe, he was being a dumb-ass, again. It seemed to be his default state.
Maybe. Maybe he was just lost, too. As it happened, though, he'd been lost for a while, now, if he was guessing right, and it'd been this long. He still hadn't figured anything out, and at this point, he was beginning to wonder if he could. No, no. If he couldn't figure it out, then, he'd always be a terrible person. He'd never get any better, and he didn't want to be a terrible person -- what if he just really was a terrible person? No. If he just accepted it then it really wouldn't ever get better, and maybe it still wouldn't, but, wasn't it worth trying? He'd need help, though. Cygnus wasn't good at most things. He'd need help, figuring out what was right and what was wrong, and... there were a lot of nuances to talking to someone he didn't really notice, before. Even now, he couldn't really make sense of why, exactly, Kassandros shrieking over there had upset him so much, only that it had.
Yeah, they did need their mom. Maybe Cygnus wouldn't be so damned messed up, if she'd stayed, maybe none of them would be. It was too late for maybe, of course, but Cygnus still found himself wondering what life would've been like. Girls didn't really run houses, in Dalmasca -- some could, but, he didn't remember enough of her, to know if their mother was one that could. Maybe Kassi would still be head of house, but at least he wouldn't have to do everything himself. There was no sense wondering. It wasn't like it'd ever happen. He'd never really know, what it'd be like.
"Can I ask you stuff?" he asked. "You know, when stuff doesn't make sense, or I'm not sure if something's a good idea. Can I ask you?" He wasn't really sure if Icarus wanted to be bothered with things like that, or at least wouldn't mind. But, maybe he should just, leave Kassi alone, for a while, if nothing else.
"No," Lucius agreed, "they don't." Emotions did not tend to particularly get along with logic. That was half of humes' problem, you know, emotions didn't make sense. Lucius knew that, quite well, by now. There'd been plenty of things over the course of his life, that had caused such seemingly trivial wars in him. That eternal, never-ending war between emotion and logic. It was hard war to reconcile, especially in situations where, logic really was right, and despite the emotion being entirely valid, there was no real sense in it. Damian was a logical person; naturally, he'd have run into these complexities, too.
Oh. Hmm, Lucius had Andreas and Cyprian, and Leon had just come and gotten them for their brother. Dimitrios wasn't at that particular brothel, anymore, but instead, in House Essair. Kassandros did seem to have a penchant for buying seemingly random brothel slaves off Helene. By this point, he'd done it so many times, she actually had excess hessions to use for sudden gifting. Lucius' last visit had been free, because Helene had enough left over from Essair to cover it. Seemed a strange, strange hobby, but, Helene seemed to think it a good thing, and he'd trust her judgment. Though, maybe Damian might eventually go back, looking for him, and if he wasn't there anymore... Julian was, at least.
"You might want to know, then," Lucius started, "Dimitrios is not there, anymore. I managed to find his brothers, and Leon came and borrowed them for Kassandros. I don't know the details, but, apparently he'd developed a pretty serious infection, and Kassandros wanted his brothers so they could help him while he heals. Since he's kind of taking care of a couple of my slaves, I thought I'd send them some food and extra medical supplies we've got around. I'm sure they can use it, if you wanted to do me a favor, and take it over there sometime later..." Damian took after him, not Marcus. Most likely, he made tentative friends with the kid, and, honestly, Damian could use friends closer to his age, that weren't liable to stab him in the back.
It seemed a strange thing to thank him for, but, apparently Marcus hadn't said anything. "Ah, House Bauman, I believe," Lucius said. "Took me a minute to remember. It used to be a vassal house of Cassimer, actually." Which made Marcus' total avoidance of talking about them very strange; he and Julian were rumored to have been quite good friends. So, what changed? Lucius would probably never know.
"... I'm sure, eventually, the rumors will get to you," he said, toned kind of off-hand, "so I'd rather tell you, first. I've been considering splitting off from House Cassimer into my own, for a while now." Lucius wouldn't ask Damian to go along with it, or anything of the sort. He just thought, given Lucius was the only thing close to a family Damian knew, he deserved to at least know, and hear it from him, and not the grape-vine.
That was true. Maybe he could've. Icarus was better at making sense of these things than Cygnus was. Maybe none of them were really as good at it as they could be, but, Icarus at least had words for the things Cygnus felt. Still, it wasn't really his problem? Maybe Cygnus was looking at it the wrong way, but it seemed kind of weird... no, wrong word. Bad? Not right. Ugh, he didn't know. Just, there was something off about Cygnus needing help making sense of what he felt. His brother shouldn't have to explain this sort of thing to him, he should get it, by now. Would he always be so incapable of making sense of anything? Cygnus didn't know. At the moment, it seemed that way, seemed like he'd never really understand everything there was to understand, and he was bad with emotions, and bad with numbers, and actually he wasn't even all that great at fighting, and he was bad at picking the right friends, and choosing the right words, and --
Missing him. Yeah, that was it, he missed Kassi. Before their father had spirited him away somewhere to teach him how to do the running the house stuff, he was always around, at least for a while. Maybe not constantly, but Cygnus thought being around each other constantly would've driven them all about up a wall, anyway. There were times, now, where he went days without seeing their older brother, and he was almost always here, physically in the estate. When did that change? When did Kassi end up so close, and so far away, all at the same time? When did they start losing him before he was even gone? Maybe it didn't matter. It wasn't like either Cygnus, or Icarus, could make him come back. Even Kassi didn't stay, in the end. When they were younger, Cygnus used to think Kassandros was going to be around all the time. There were three of them for a reason, he was sure. Maybe so none of them had to be alone, so that even if everyone else left, they were still together, and still had each other. It didn't work out, that way, did it. He was actually the second one they'd lost, after mom.
And why did mom actually go, anyway? He'd never know, probably, but Kassi wasn't that bad. Maybe it was just easier for him to accept, because there'd never been a time when Kassi wasn't Kassi, but even so, there was never a time when Kassi wasn't Kassi. Shouldn't mom have gotten used to it, too? People were afraid of some stupid things sometimes, but it wasn't like Kassi was really dangerous. Well, no, he was, but only if you made him mad, and the only way to do that was to hurt someone else. Mom wouldn't have, right? He hardly remembered her, anyway, maybe she would've.
"I dunno," Cygnus said, quiet, staring at his blankets, "I'm starting to see what's wrong with me. But you and Kassi aren't that bad, just a bit lost." At one time, maybe he had been 'just a bit lost,' but, he thought he'd gone a little over the deep end, and stopped being just a 'bit' lost, and started being 'hopelessly messed up.' He didn't say that. "Why did mom leave? I always figured the rumors were right, that Kassi was just difficult, but, he's not that bad. It doesn't make sense, anymore." Maybe, really, it never had. Cygnus just hadn't wanted to think about it. He remembered why, now, why he didn't like thinking about things. It was painful, when he did.
Yes, he was. Silly thing to argue about, really, so he just sighed, and left it alone. Honestly, though, he should've seen this coming. He should've guessed Marcus wouldn't say anything, because Marcus hardly ever said anything, at least anything of any damned importance. It was pointless to kick himself about it, though. What was, was, and it was too late to go back and fix it, now. No sense trying to go backwards, anyway, going forward was hard enough.
"No," Lucius admitted. "It won't. But you're probably mad at him for not telling you. Which is a normal thing to be upset about. That's kind of important. Or at least, important to you, I suppose the qualifier is valid." Given, clearly, it wasn't quite so important to Marcus. Lucius knew why. Julian had been a threat to him. He got rid of the threat, and stopped caring outright. All in all, it was logical. Marcus found threats, removed them, and forgot about them, because they were no longer important. Funny, because Lucius remembered them being fairly decent friends, once. His father had long ago lost his damned mind, so, Lucius wasn't terribly surprised, just, maybe a bit disappointed. Perhaps a hair sliver of confusion was in there, too. How'd he turn out so psychotic, anyway?
Yeah, he probably didn't have much time to talk. "... you didn't... end up with him did you, that'd be so awkward..." Eee... good that Helene was doing okay. She usually was. Someday, he was going to steal that lady. That day was not today. The slaves in the brothel probably all needed her, in some sense, anyway. She was kind of the guide, the hand to hold, for them. It wasn't like he was terribly attached to her, personally. She was a good friend, but, maybe she needed to stay, more than anything. Besides, it was safe, there. Sounded strange, but, that was why the one he was attached to was still there, instead of here. It was safer. It was sad when a brothel was safer.
"Wonder how much he's got left... from what I hear, your birth house collapsed because it fell into severe debt. Julian became a bond slave to pay it off, and made my dad adopt you, first, because he didn't want you getting hit with the ramifications of that later, and you know, we don't raise kids in brothels. Your mom, ah... shoot... Camilla, yeah, her name was Camilla, she was very sick, and she died about a year later. I hadn't heard anything about Julian since, but, I ran into him again, just before my last military tour." Even if he'd thought to mention it, he probably wouldn't have remembered, until recently, anyway.
Oh, met his father. Wait, he didn't know? For a second, Lucius probably stared at him kind of blankly, because, that had not crossed his mind as a concern. On the other hand, he didn't quite know why not. He'd figured out what Marcus had done a while back, it made sense. It wasn't as if Marcus was going to admit to it, certainly not to Julian's son. He wasn't really sure if the story behind it even mattered, at this point. Lucius closed his eyes, fell over onto the couch.
"I, am, a dumbass," he grumbled. "I am a dumbass." That established, perhaps he could, and should, move on with his life, now. "Why would he tell you that. ... no, that's pretty normal a thing to be hung up on." Considering, Damian always seemed to really want a father, and just randomly got another father, his real one, dropped in his lap, yeah, that was normal. That was probably the most normal thing to get hung up on.
"I always assumed he'd told you," Lucius said. "In hindsight, I don't know why. ... ah... it may not... really help, now, but, I'll tell you, if you have anything you want to know. What'd you think of him? Also, how's Helene?" Yes, he knew where Damian must have gone, if he'd run into Julian. And, really, he probably shouldn't so easily admit, in some sense, that he knew that, because that may eventually lead into the reason why, but, maybe Damian wouldn't squint so hard. If he had to guess why Damian was there, he'd probably figured out he was gay. ... yes, Lucius already knew that. Unlike some people in House Cassimer, he did actually pay attention to him. Probably, mother already knew, too.
He was a dumbass. Honestly. Marcus, tell anyone anything, ha, the thought was immeasurably laughable.