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PostSubject: The Same   Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:15 pm

It must have been at least ten minutes since Christian stepped into the Senate House. He knew where Tiberius's and Roz's offices were, respectively, and yet Christian remained frozen, pacing back and forth as though he was a first grader trying to tell someone he had a crush on them. Unlike a decade ago, however, Christian didn't have all the time in the world. He was busy, and he was sure Roz was too. Sooner or later, he was going to have to get back to Camp Jupiter.

Finally, he knocked on the door to her office. It had become a theme for him lately to do things that weren't smart, so long as he felt he'd regret not doing them. "Roz, it's me." He figured it was time come clean right now over later. The whole thing was a mess. What were the odds that your boss that recommend you for promotion just so happened to suffer a rough childhood because her mother had the same addiction that you did? Christian wasn't sure what the right way to proceed. He felt he had to tell Roz before leaving for Black Creek. But telling her that he hadn't told her over nine years? That would be a big pill to swallow.

"It's not an emergency. But for not being an emergency, it's.... an emergency."
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PostSubject: Re: The Same   Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:48 pm



Rosalind had been spending the past three hours doing paperwork. It was a boring, but necessary, part of her job. So any distraction was welcome with open arms. The knock on the door was the best thing that had happened to her all afternoon.

"Come in." She called, putting down her pen. She smiled as Christian entered the room, although that smile turned into a face of concern when she saw Christians less than happy face.

"Hey, whats up?"

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PostSubject: Re: The Same   Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:15 pm

Christian did as she asked, and stepped into the room. There weren't a lot of ways to start this, and Christian wasn't going to stand there silent. "You're gonna think I'm lying to you." Christian was pretty blunt on that. He knew it wasn't the best entrance, granted there wasn't any reason to create an exquisite preamble, as the end result would ultimately be the same.

"I've wanted to tell you for a long time, but there were a lot of reasons that I just couldn't." Christian said. He knew many of those reasons still applied, but not enough to justify keeping it between him and some others who learned through circumstance. Roz was the one who promoted him, without her in the picture, he could just as easily have been a Legionnaire who barely got by for years, until eventually hitting retirement. Because of her, he got to make a difference for other people. It was one of the most fulfilling things he could imagine, even if he forgot about how important it was sometimes.

He figured that he could show her, and let the bottle do the talking. He gripped it from his pocket, yanking out the small orange bottle, used for prescribed pills. The font on it was small, with the person prescribed labelled as "Abella Moreau." He placed it on the desk in front of her. "It's exactly what you think it is."
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PostSubject: Re: The Same   Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:52 pm


Rosalind saw the orange pill bottle, and her stomach dropped. She pulled her reading glasses back on (Teddy forced her to get them after he realized she had issues reading the cereal box), and looked at the medication listed on the label. Hydrocodone. That word brought Roz back to a different time, when she lived with her own mother.

Roz could only pull off her glasses and sigh. "How long has this been going on?" She asked simply. She wanted to know how long she had been lied to. She wanted to know how she had missed the signs.

Gods, why did fate like to test her this way? She had thought she escaped this stuff when child services pulled up to her door while her mom was high on heroin. Now there was a part of her that was returning to that scared little girl hiding under the bed, wishing for everything to go back to the way it used to be.

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PostSubject: Re: The Same   Sat Aug 19, 2017 5:50 pm

"That morning I came to you, with the quest. Mercury only gave me the page after I slipped some in his offering bowl." Christian couldn't offer a whole lot in the field of reassurance. He didn't snicker, or try to make a joke; he knew how deep this cut for Roz. "It was stupid. As if it was something that mattered to him." Christian didn't drag it on, he didn't consider himself to have issues with Mercury. There was already far too much room for issues with his blood family, and that sure as hell wasn't something he could talk to Roz about right now. At least, not the irreverent parts, the parts that didn't have to do with the addiction.

"It's over. I don't use anymore." Christian made sure to look Roz in the eyes when he said that. Lot of good that was, he figured. He knew what she was thinking, that she couldn't just take his word for that. How could you just trust an addict? He also knew that her question wasn't answered by 'I don't use anymore.' "I used for a long time, Roz." Christian found it hard to speak to her. She'd taught him so much. He wouldn't be where he was in life without her. That was a fact.

"I'd been using since before I met you. I couldn't ask you for help. I know you've already given everything you could to stop this once. It wouldn't have been fair. It was easier this way."
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PostSubject: Re: The Same   Sun Aug 20, 2017 7:15 pm


Roz looked up at him, and suprisingly, she felt a pang of guilt. Christian was like a younger brother to her, and she wasn't really acting like a big sister. She didn't make him feel like he could talk to her about this. Just because she had lived through it, didn't mean that she couldn't offer support. Especially because she understood, in a way. "I wish you had told me sooner." She told him, "I could've helped. You know how bad it can get."

Oh, she knew. She knew what it was like when the pills weren't enough anymore. It was the difference between falling off of a counter and a skyscraper. She knew the fear it left in their loved ones, waiting for the call. She had received that call four months ago. Nobody knew but Teddy. She wasn't ready to tell the world that they found her mother in a ditch on the side of the road with nothing but her clothes and an old needle and syringe in her pocket.


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PostSubject: Re: The Same   Mon Aug 21, 2017 11:56 am

Christian could only offer her a gesture of his hands, an uncertain one. "Maybe." He replied, before a long winded sigh escaped him. "You gave me the chance to be here, to do what I'm doing right now." Christian echoed, a belief that he held every single day. "Promoting me helped me more than it ever could have helped Cohort Five. I didn't know that I could be someone who made a difference in anyone's life. For so many kids who get here, that's the introduction they're given. That you're a Davenport, a Virgo, a Prescott, a Julius, or cannon fodder." Christian finished. He knew that wasn't Roz's fault. "You're living proof though, that that isn't true."

"With Praetor comes an entire army to look after though. I know that. If I'd came to you, what you'd want to do wouldn't matter. I know what you'd have to do. You'd have to get me evaluated, you'd have to tell Tiberius, and you'd have to take away my title. Truth is, having Cohort Five as my family has meant more to me than anything."
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PostSubject: Re: The Same   Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:23 pm


Roz was quiet for a bit. She knew what he said was true. She was bound to her position. While it gave her a lot of room to make a change and improve the lives of her legionnaires, her hands were bound in situations like these. She knew what Tiberius would think. She knew he wouldn't give Christian any leeway, and if she wanted to keep the senate from banging at her door, she knew that she couldn't have give him any leeway either.

"I'm sorry." She finally said, "That this happened to you. You didn't deserve it. But I'm proud of you for getting past it. The fact that you're standing here means that you're strong. You've done a lot of good here, in the fifth and in New Rome. I'm hoping this is the start of a tradition of centurions being compassionate and persevering. This isn't just a place for those with influential surnames, it's for everyone who's willing to put in the time and work towards making New Rome safe for demigods and legacies. It's for those who need a home. We just need to make sure we foster that for the generations to come. I'm hoping you'll help me work towards that."


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PostSubject: Re: The Same   Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:00 pm

Roz's kind words made him feel like he was younger again. The belief that New Rome could be better had never left him, but a certain sense of rejuvenation filled him. Her faith in him never failed, and never faulted. Then, suddenly, all of that faded. He'd lied to her for so many years now. She forgave in an instant. He didn't deserve her forgiveness.

"When I was a kid, my mom was prone to these things. She did it right in front of me and my dad. When I'd ask her what they were, my dad, he'd get really quiet. He wouldn't be angry, or happy, or sad. He'd just freeze up. I was so young, I didn't think anything of it. Even though he was a doctor, I just thought he was being polite. I thought he was doing the right thing and letting my mom answer." Christian hadn't ever told another soul about this story. Not Corinne, not Rowan, not Aspen. Yet, he felt Roz deserved to know the truth, all of it, not just the censored version that he was comfortable with.

"She'd tell me they were her 'happy pills.' There was no shame in her voice, she told me it with the kindest tone. Anyone in the world could have thought she was talking about medication and was just saying the kind thing. With all of the fighting, the violence, the anger in that tiny, cramped apartment, one night I really wanted some of the happy in those pills." He looked up to Roz, and although the story would make so much more clear, he only felt the shame of a decade of misuse. He wanted to tell her more, he wanted to tell her about when he went home. How much worse she was, how his dad was in jail for her, and his sister dead so that she could feel high for just another few minutes. Whether the blame was his or not, Christian felt the weight on his shoulders. After he'd taken her pills, nearly ten years ago, Christian figured the rest of the story was self-explanatory. Every pill popped, ever lie told, every excuse made, all caught up to him in that moment. Every moment of guilt that he'd avoided, sat on him now.
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PostSubject: Re: The Same   Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:38 pm


Roz listened, staring at the old worn sofa chair that sat in the corner of her office. There was a heaviness in her chest, one that only appeared when she thought of her mother.

"When I was seven, my mother was in a car crash. She was prescribed Vicodin, that was the start. By the time I left she had upgraded to heroin. I'll never be able to get the smell of burning heroin out of my mind when I think of her. It just hangs in the air and sticks to clothing. We never even talked about it. I saw her four years ago. She used to be beautiful but then she was basically just a skeleton. She wasted away."

Roz looked back at Christian, "I got the call four months ago. It was an overdose, of course. The worst part was that I had always known it would come down to this. I didn't even try to imagine a world where she got clean. I'm glad that didn't happen to you. I'm glad you could do the thing she never could do."


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PostSubject: Re: The Same   Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:09 pm

"I didn't do it alone." Christian admitted. "The few who knew, the looks they gave me, the way they treated me. Whether they meant it or not." Christian said to her. He wasn't interested in throwing Rowan under the bus. It almost made him smile to think about her. He rarely had a spare moment to even speak to her, but she was still here, and so was he. One day, in the near future, they'd sit down and talk. He looked forward to that, at least. "It was a wake up call, and it sent me home for the first time in over nine years. My mom lost a baby because of her addiction, and my dad went to jail for her. I wouldn't end up like that. I wouldn't lose my family for pills. Rowan almost paid the price for it. After all of that, I knew what I had to do."

"I'm sorry about your mom. I know it the end, she wasn't the woman you once knew, but she was still your mom." Christian slowly drew his hand to her desk, leaving it open for a handshake. "We're here now though, all of us. As long as all of us do this together, I know we can beat any enemy, tackle any challenge, survive any hardship. Not as partners, but as family. I made you an oath a long time ago. I'd like to make that oath again, clean of any influence of the last time." He requested.
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PostSubject: Re: The Same   Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:35 pm


Roz looked at Christian's extended hand, before pulling him into a hug. "Well, family hugs." She told him. She pulled back, and smiled. "I'm proud of you. I really am." She felt that it was worth repeating. Out of everything in her life, she was glad that they hadn't changed. Not really, anyways. Christian was always going to be like a brother to her. They were still going to try to change this place for the better.

"When you get back we should have dinner at my place. I mean I won't cook, but Teddy might be willing to whip up something, or we can just order takeout." It was a well known fact that when Roz entered the kitchen, disaster followed. Thats why she left all cooking to Teddy.


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PostSubject: Re: The Same   Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:24 pm

The solace of calling it family was something worth keeping, something work holding onto. Maybe he didn't have family in the form of a mother or a father he could see for guidance whenever he needed to, but he had some of the greatest brothers and sisters you could ever want, and Roz was the flagship of that. He was grateful for the hug, it made him feel truly accepted by Roz once more, that they weren't just words, but a bond solidified by something maybe more thick than biological blood.

"Your curse to cause chaos wherever you go." Christian joked to her, a grin following. "Just gotta make sure you're channeling it in the right direction." Christian stepped back from her, it was a nice moment, and he didn't want to let it go. But all he'd been was busy lately. "I have prep work before tomorrow. I didn't ask Rowan to come; just too much going on in her life to deal with this. Was that the right call?" He asked. He realized this wasn't exactly Roz's strong suit either. Better to get a like-minded opinion that's different than an opposite opinion that's the same, he figured.
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PostSubject: Re: The Same   Fri Aug 25, 2017 3:15 pm


"I always do." Roz confirmed with a smile.

She leaned against her desk at Christian's question. She didn't know Rowan as well as she did Christian, but what she did know that the girl seemed to be holding it together pretty well for the hell that she had been put through for the past couple months. "Honestly, I think if you bring her along, you might just get her shot again, but I don't know if she agrees. In the end though, these decisions are yours and yours alone to make."

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