Messiah

Peaceful Reflections

Started by Icarus Essair at Apr 06, 2019 12:49 am
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The damage was done. Cygnus was going off to a friends, and one of the guards had gone to make sure that Kassandros was at least mostly okay. Icarus really couldn't believe his brother said that, and then of course he could, because Cygnus was terrible at thinking things through. He always had been, things just didn't... make sense to him, they way they did for other people. And he didn't... ever really learn that there were things that shouldn't be said, no matter what.

Icarus made his way to the main bathing room after pausing to find something to change into when he had gotten out of the water. by the time he actually made it to the bathing room, he was mostly calm. Though, of course, the slight mental exhaustion had come back, now that he'd stopped psyching himself up to deal with Cygnus.

As he had been warned, there were two others in the bath when he entered. One dark haired and one silver, well, that would at least make them easy to tell apart, twins or not. Sure, he'd eventually have figured out the smaller differences that usually existed - as a triplet, he knew all about those - but this made it unlikely that there would be any mix ups once he knew which was which. He disrobed and slid into the water in short order, though he deliberately left some space between them - the bath was plenty large enough to avoid a close press.

"Ka- er." One of the boys was speaking, the dark haired one it seemed.

"Icarus." He supplied mildly. "One of the triplets. Kassandros and Cygnus are the other two." Yes. "Cygnus and I were on military tour." Explaining why they hadn't met yet.

Oh. Andreas filed the name away for the moment. "I'm Andreas." Kassandros had not mentioned siblings, so it was surprising to suddenly run into one that looked just like him, but with darker hair.

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Courage is not the absence of fear. It is the decision there is something more important than fear.

That looked like Kassandros, but also didn't. When did his hair get darker? Not that it didn't look good, it was just jarring, expecting him to be blond, and he had kind of a golden brown tone, instead. Dimitrios, for his own, squinted a bit at him, and then decided that wasn't Kassandros. It didn't feel like the right name, if that made any sense at all, but given he was empathic, and his empathy had suddenly progressed by miles in a few short days, he supposed he'd notice this one didn't feel right. Kassandros had a twin? That'd make sense of why he understood he and Andreas' lack of wanting to be apart for very long, if nothing else, but it was odd, that he didn't mention that.

Andreas went to say Kass's name, and Dimitrios started shaking his head. Not Kassandros-he didn't know his name, but, that wasn't it. Oh, Icarus. Cygnus? Triplets. There were three. Holy shit, that'd take some getting used to. For a second, Dimitrios went a bit cross-eyed. Hey, he could do empathy practice in telling them apart, but eventually he'd be able to tell without that, because you know, twins were hardly ever exactly the same, despite others' insistence on treating them as two copies of the same person. That wasn't how that worked.

"Dimitrios," he said, waving a bit. He was going to nod, instead, but if he bent over too far, it tended to hurt. "Kass didn't mention he had siblings," let alone was a triplet, but he didn't say that. It was, perhaps, implied in his tone. "Nice to meet you, even if it is a bit confusing." Well, everything about House Essair was confusing. Why not toss in some more confusing? All things considered, though, it could be worse. It could be the bad sort of confusing, instead of oh, he's a triplet. Yeah, could be worse.

Maybe he just had lacking standards, these days. Maybe that wasn't surprising, either. But, Icarus was actually a little more open than Kassandros usually was. He may not be too bad to get to know. ... military tour, though. He tried not to frown. Only the firstborn of a house had to go; Kassandros seemed like the oldest. Cyprian was, in their house, and he'd gone, and then Nero went and never came back one day. He wasn't very generous about things like that, for probably pretty obvious reasons, so, despite looking a bit unsure about something, he didn't say anything. It wasn't his place, anyway. Their mom may have raised them as nobility, but, they did always have some vague idea of their role in life. It wasn't as hard as it could've been, figuring this out.

"Er, if you want, we can go..." back to reading books, probably, it seemed worth mentioning. He didn't say to, but. Well, Dimitrios was getting used to Kass not saying much of anything, either.

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"It's a pleasure to meet you both." Icarus said with a small smile and a very slight nod in both of their directions. "He didn't? Hm." Icarus shrugged. "Well, Kass is like that sometimes. Things slip his mind." He didn't take offense to it or worry too much about why he may not have shared. It had probably not been intentionally, and instead just kind of happened or something like that. "Well, I'm sure it'll be confusing for a bit, but we're easy to tell apart. Kass is the blonde one. Cygnus is the one that is basically always talking. And then there's me."

Okay so it wasn't exactly that simple, he knew that. It would take time to get the hang of which name went where and all. "But it's okay if you mix up names. No one's going to judge you." Cygnus might be slightly huffy, but he'd get over it, he always did eventually.  And honestly everyone did it occasionally. These two were new, and they hadn't even known Kassandros had siblings.

"It's nice to meet you." Andreas agreed mildly, inclining his head, but watching the other thoughtfully. It seemed odd, to Dre at least, that Kassandros wouldn't have mentioned that he had siblings. But, Icarus seemed to take it in stride, so maybe it wasn't so strange. Cygnus was basically always talking? And then Icarus. Hm. Well, filing away the information for the moment.

"You don't have to." Mildly. "I'm the one invading." To be fair... yes he was. They'd been in the bath first, he'd just decided to go through with coming back to bathe when he'd just gotten in instead of going to his room or something. And he didn't exactly mind company, these two were at least nice it seemed.

If Icarus noticed Dimitrios looking unsure, he didn't ask. "How long have you been here in Essair?" He asked instead. ... What? He was going to try and use it as a measuring stick for when, Kenleigh had fallen, exactly. He was a bit behind on news it would seem. It also seemed to be as good a place as any to try and break the ice a bit.

Icarus had no idea how successful he'd be, but it seemed like a good idea to make friendly with the new people around.

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Courage is not the absence of fear. It is the decision there is something more important than fear.

Always talking? Oh, dear. Dimitrios just nodded, very slightly, careful not to move downward too much. He might mix up their names, but, if Cygnus was so talkative, probably not. Icarus was even more talkative than Kassandros, already, he didn't tend to be one for idle conversation. Most likely, if Dimitrios had to guess, because he was a very busy person, busier than he and Andreas' father had ever been. That guy was always drunk, or getting there, it seemed like. Not that Dimitrios really cared.

Uh. Except this was technically his bathroom, not theirs? Dimitrios decided not to point that out, it seemed a silly thing to argue about, and besides, if he was anything like Kassandros, it wouldn't get him very far, anyway. Icarus didn't seem terribly formal, or difficult to talk to, at least. Maybe a bit friendlier than he was really used to. Well, cept Damian, he guessed. Damian was... an odd complexity Dimitrios didn't quite understand yet, though.

"Erm," Dimitrios glanced up at the ceiling, thinking. He wasn't actually sure. "A week? Maybe a bit over." That seemed like a long time. Well, it'd felt like a long time, too. "When I got here, Kassandros said I wasn't allowed to do anything that required walking or standing, and I'm still not." It wasn't like Dimitrios really minded being allowed to just read all day, it wasn't horribly boring or anything, it just seemed odd, given how much he'd spent getting him. None of the slaves from that brothel were particularly cheap, and buying one outright, forever, had to be rather the ridiculous number of hessions. It wasn't Dimitrios' place to question it, of course, but internally, he still did.

And now they had their mother, and Xiaodan was teaching them to control their empathy. Not that they'd had time for that, just yet. That had only happened yesterday, after all. Should he mention that? The empathy thing? It seemed like something Kassandros would've said, but, he did forget to mention he was a triplet, so maybe it would've gone unmentioned. "Uh, we're empaths, apparently," just setting that there. "Kassandros found us a teacher. ... I didn't think it'd be that easy." Admittedly, it'd taken some time, but, he'd found one in the first place.

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Icarus' head leaned back against the edge of the pool, while the majority of him was submerged. For a moment, blue eyes closed and he looked rather relaxed. He was also quiet for a moment or two after Dimitrios finished. Considering what the answer told him for a moment. He seemed relaxed, mostly.

"Not too long then. I see." But a while. So some time before that when the House had fallen. Another house fallen, and it was bitter sweet because the head of house had not been very smart, but Nero hadn't been so bad. Ah, but the children, and Thetis, were here. And maybe that was better thatn it could have been at least. "Well it sounds like you must be healing." That was the only reason Icarus could think of for such restrictions to be put in place. "So no, he won't let you do much of anything until you're completely better. It's not something he'll budge on." And thus not really worth arguing.

"Yes, he is." Andreas didn't indicate what, exactly, he was healing from. Icarus would probably find out eventually, when they stood up or so. But he didn't seem to want to put it into words.

Apparently they were empaths. Well, file that in things only Kass could pull off, finding them a teacher within a week or two. A short laugh there. "Well, Kassandros tends to just... know things." Yes, he did. And the light seemed to give him just enough to do almost anything if he tried hard enough. "At least he found you a teacher though." Empathy could be nasty if left untrained.

And with Cygnus and his emotional explosions, and Icarus' own occasional temper, the house would probably be uncomfortable for them, if they didn't learn how to control it somewhat.

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Courage is not the absence of fear. It is the decision there is something more important than fear.

Yeah, not really. It seemed like forever, and yet, not at all. Funny, how that worked, but Dimitrios was long accustomed to the relativity of time's passage. Sometimes it went really fast, other times really slow, and there was no logical sense to that. At least, none that he knew. Maybe he'd have to mess with that, just for posterity.

"I've noticed," Dimitrios drawled. Kassandros could be pretty bull-headed when he wanted to be. It was almost cute. "... I kicked a slaver in the nuts, and lost mine for it." Apparently, Andreas didn't want to say it, but, Dimitrios had decided, he didn't care much. That could very well be weird, but hey, it wasn't like Dimitrios had ever been castrated before, he had no idea what was and was not normal, here.

Dimitrios snorted. "Also noticed that." That thing where Kass just, seemed to know. "It's nice, though. Not having to flail with it. Empathy's pretty nasty, untrained. ... this I know." He and Cyprian had already gone in an empathy circle once. Fortunately, Kass had managed to break it, before it escalated too far. It was almost weird, how much Cyprian seemed to care. Dimitrios had almost convinced himself he must not really care at all, but, his reactions to things, thinking about other things in the past, he cared a lot.

He still wasn't really sure what to do with it. With the realization that Nero maybe wasn't as great as he thought. He still hadn't mentioned it to Andreas. It seemed... rude, really. Nero'd just died, speaking ill of him was... well. With any luck, Nero wouldn't hear it, anyway.

... come to think-"... this may not really be... my business," he started. "But, is House Essair really at war with Cassimer?" He heard they were. Everyone said they were, here. He thought he remembered someone, maybe many someones, mentioning it before House Kenleigh fell. The things he'd heard about Marcus... they concerned him, a bit. This wasn't Kassandros, but, maybe someone around here should know.

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Snort. And then a slight wince as Dimitrios shared the nature of the injury. "Ah, yes, I'd say that's a severe enough injury to warrant not doing thing for a while." That was the sort of thing that would make even standing and walking, much less anything else, extremely painful. No, not good for, uh, anything. Ow, actually. Slavers were such... brutes, to be honest. Anyway.

"Yeah, he just sort of outs with the most random things sometimes. It's hard to miss." Andreas added. And Icarus supposed it would be hard to miss unless one was adamantly ignoring the truth put right before them, but some people were like that. And others didn't know how to handle the fact that yes he was a seer and yes he did just know. It meant he was dying faster than many seers. It meant that they drew closer to his demise faster than usual. He didn't say that, there was no point in it.

"I suppose it would be." Was what Icarus murmured instead, almost to himself. That was in response to the bit about Kassandros, technically, but could easily have been about the empathy as well. "I'm glad you won't have to flail with it then." Yes, going with that. "I can't imagine trying to process all that input from the world at once." A suppressed shiver, there. No, Icarus was pretty sure something like being an empath would just drive him insane rather quickly. Sometimes just the input he got now could be almost too much.

People, they liked to shove their problems all but up people's noses and expect others to deal with them. And sometimes this worked out well, but sometimes it just spread the pain around.

Okay, that got his attention. Icarus sat up properly then, instead of remaining lounged against the side, and his blue eyes studied the pair for a moment as if weighing the response to that. "Yes." Finally. "You could say we are at war with Cassimer. Marcus has not taken kindly to house Essair's rise through the ranks into the Warlord class." Ah, no. "I suspect some of the assassins are Cassimer's, being totally honest about it." SO there was... that.

"Why?"Because that had some something out of nowhere.

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Courage is not the absence of fear. It is the decision there is something more important than fear.

So far, so good, at least. Though he really didn't like being about useless, he was doing better. It didn't hurt as much, now. Kassandros and Merenwen both warned not to push it, even though it seemed like he could, because it could go back to being really bad very quickly, and he trusted them enough not to. Maybe in a few more days, or so, he could start walking short distances. That'd be nice. He really didn't like Andreas being stuck waiting on him all the time. It just bothered him on principle.

Dimitrios shrugged. "After a point, it's less like trying to process it, and more like getting tossed into the middle of the ocean. In a storm. And you can't swim, anyway." That was probably the most accurate way of wording it.

Ah. So they were. Dimitrios frowned, slightly, glancing at Andreas, more out of instinct than anything. He'd heard the stories. The assassins were Cassimer's? Hmm. Marcus, though, not Lucius and Damian, he'd said. That made sense, thinking about it. Neither of them seemed the type that'd get like this. Well, there was a reason Marcus had the reputation, not them. He'd only met Marcus once, in person, quite a while ago, before the house fell. Even then, he'd given Dimitrios the creeps.

"Um. Kassandros pulled me out of a brothel," he said. "You know what brothel slaves do when they're not working? Talk. You know what men do when they're happy? Talk. I heard some interesting things. But, the one I'm worried about is, Marcus has rather the reputation for being a sadistic psychopath, in the pleasure district. Nobody's seen him in it since he attached to House Salonus, can't imagine why. Word is, his political opposition has a habit of randomly vanishing, and never being seen again. Just a bit worried, is all. Kassandros doesn't seem like he'd be concerned about it, but, maybe it's something to remember."

Indeed, maybe it was.

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Mm. Nodding a little there. Right, less processing and more... drowning, then. That was even worse in some ways, that the overload was so complete one stopped trying to process and focused more on not falling beneath the waves that weren't even theirs. It was not a gift he envied, for certain. Ah, but he wasn't sure many people would. Dealing with input from the entire world around was probably frustrating even after being trained. Though he supposed it could be useful to be able to somewhat manipulate what others were feeling.

Of course he had. Which meant Kassi had gone down to the pleasure district. ... Hopefully he'd taken the Macenian titan they'd met in the entry way at least. That one would be something of a deterrent of anyone who might want to bother Kass. ... Icarus was actually kind of relieved that he had a bodyguard now. There were... many things that could be very bad if he was by himself.

Icarus nodded his understanding while Dimitrios spoke. People gossiped, most especially around slaves because they rarely thought of slaves as intelligent enough to use the knowledge they gained that way. No one expected a brothel slave to be able to share information that could be damaging.

Ah but what Dimitrios shared was... concerning. "I must admit I'd heard similar rumors." Icarus said after a moment. "It's concerning to hear they're coming from more than one place these days." Randomly vanishing... well assassins, if nothing else, were good at making people disappear. "Kassandros tends to downplay risks to his own safety." Setting that down gently. "I appreciate you reminding me of those rumors though." Ah, yes.

Because if something happened to Kass, maybe he'd remember that Cassimer was the most likely suspect.

"The slaves at Lucius' house didn't have many good things to say about Marcus either, honestly." Carefully. "Damian, yes, Lucius, yes. But Marcus? ... mostly nothing at all. But that could easily be because actually speaking ill of him could be bad if it somehow got back to him." Andreas added after a moment or two.

So there was... that too. Those within the house didn't have much good to say, either.

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Courage is not the absence of fear. It is the decision there is something more important than fear.

"From what I hear, he's got a natural disposition toward torture," Dimitrios said. "... well, what amounts to it, or could easily become it, if it wasn't controlled. Kass is much younger than Marcus is, a fact he is unlikely to have missed. I don't think he'll play fair at any point in this." No, honestly, Dimitrios was pretty sure, as soon as he stopped being discreet about it, he'd eventually aim to give himself some kind of advantage. And... if he was reading them right, if Marcus figured it out, he had leverage. Because, he thought Sandalio was starting to care a little more than normal, and Kass was starting to reciprocate. Maybe he should warn Sandalio, too. He didn't know if it'd help, but, certainly it couldn't hurt, he thought. Wherever Kassandros went, Sandalio wasn't far behind, either. He'd be most likely to be in a position to do something with it.

Come to think of it. "Does Kassandros have... hobbies?" He didn't seem to. Dimitrios found that odd, but he couldn't really be that busy, right? "... besides saving random slaves' lives, that is. Do you?" Maybe it was a strange thing to wonder, but, sometimes this family made him think maybe his wasn't so bad. Odd thing to think, he guessed. Certainly if their father had his way, neither he or Andreas would've ever had hobbies. But even Cyprian had things he'd found that he enjoyed (and it was nice, seeing him actually enjoying something).

He wouldn't lie. He thought Kass worked too much. He always seemed to have time for those in his house, maybe Dimitrios could get him talking about something he liked, or... otherwise distract him once in a while. Dimitrios wasn't sure why, maybe the empathy thing, but he got the impression Kass was overworked and stressed out.

Icarus apparently had just come back from military tour, so, of course he was. But, maybe they had things in common, too.