Changing Times ((Calla))

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Changing Times ((Calla))

Post by Guest on Fri Dec 27, 2013 9:43 pm

Cero lay awake on his bunk in the barracks. It was the middle of the day, so there wasn’t any real reason for Cicero to be in bed, but he’d found himself to be exhausted. The boy had hardly slept last night, thinking about his meeting with Calix the previous day. Something he had never thought possible ever again. Now that the shock of seeing the man had started to wear off, Cicero had started thinking about their conversation. It’d distracted him all day, and after nearly chopping his arm off during training because of his distractions (thankfully nobody had seen), Cero had gone back to the barracks to rest for a little while.

While the conversation had given Cicero many things to think about, one thing in particular haunted him. Calla. His sister, who he’d thought he’d never see again. The boy had never really mentally accepted that fact in his head, but he’d come to terms with it. Calla was gone, presumably killed during the destruction of Camp Jupiter. She was the last of his family, and he’d lost her too. Except, apparently, it was not so. For Cero had been told, by Calix, that Calla was still around. In fact, she was in this very camp. Cero hadn’t said much at the time, focusing more on the fact that the praetor was actually alive, but now the thought was haunting his mind.

The fact that his sister was somewhere here, that she could be within the same mile radius as Cero, was unthinkable. The boy hadn’t seen her in years, and he’d definitely changed since then. Whether she was here or not, Cero just wasn’t sure if he was ready to face her. Except he knew he would have to, sooner or later. And, being an extremely tough Roman who had seen battle, the boy knew he should take initiative, for he was not a coward. Was he?

No, Cicero could not think that way. Sitting up on his bed, Cero broodingly put his chin on the palm of his hand, mulling over his options. Should he see her, should he leave her alone? Calla was most likely still unaware of his presence here, and Cero was just not sure whether she’d be glad to see him or not. Whether she even remembered she had a little brother. Calla most certainly had moved on, and it was simply Cero caught in the past. Time moved on, but sometimes Cicero felt like it had left him behind, and condemned him to the confines of his own dark memory.

Maybe this was a chance to break free. Maybe this was part of the Fates' master plan for him. Whether it was, or not, Cicero knew he had to see his sister. He had to, didn’t he?

Coming to the decision, finally, that he did, Cero got up from his bunk. Biting his lip, the boy hesitated before tying his sword to its rightful place. Perhaps it wasn’t needed, but then again, a Roman always had to be ready. The boy got up, and gave himself a moment to collect his thoughts and put on his Roman face. A face Calla had taught him to construct. Straightening his posture to his full height, Cero swiftly left the barracks, not giving it a second thought.

Finally pausing, after some walking, Cicero pondered where best to find her. While he knew Calla loved to train, he decided he’d better try the barracks first. Like him, maybe she had trouble sleeping too. Besides, he wanted to scout out the Second Cohort, see the type of material it possessed. With his sister as Centurion (she’d always wanted praetor, but he was sure she was content with centurion), it was always good to be aware of the cohort. He walked in silence, then came to the barracks. Staring at the door, Cero paused. This is your last chance to back out. Knock, or leave. The boy hesitated, then made his fateful choice. The boy knocked on the door, three loud knocks. Then, he waited.

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Re: Changing Times ((Calla))

Post by Calla Torquatus on Sat Dec 28, 2013 1:39 pm

((JUST SO YOU KNOW, I'm sticking to our Calla/Si agreement XD))

There were things that Calla could have been doing that were more productive than sitting on her cot in the barracks.  But, there were also things a lot less productive than what she was doing.  Kicking it old school, and laying everything out on a yellow legal pad, pen in hand, and iPod blaring on repeat to all thirty three minutes of  Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D Major op. 35.  Oh, the torture... Calla thought.  Though, she really didn't mind the Tchaikovsky.  It was the fact that she had to choreograph it with aspects of old and new.

As soon as she started, she got engulfed.  Searching her memory bank, watching the dance unfold after listening to the song enough.  It did take a while to get somewhere, though.  And, thankfully, her professor said that it only needed to be nine minutes in length.  For that specific nine minutes, she chose a collection of movements in the piece.  She didn't choose anything Swan Lake or Nutcracker for many reasons--the most prominent being that she knew that everyone else would do it.  But, she did like the piece she chose.  She knew that she could get places with mixing up the different movements, and crescendos and diminuendos.  Besides, Prioarti never said anything about playing with it.  So, Calla did what Calla does best--adopt and adapt.

She didn't know how long she was at it.  The piece flowed between one replay to the next without a second thought.  After a while, her ears started to get sore from having both ear buds in, so she opted for one-in-one-out, and alternated them when each ear got sore again.  She finally pulled both ear buds out after a while of alternating (it was too distracting, and she had pretty much memorized the piece at this point).  She still needed one last thing to finish her dance.

Knock.
Knock.
Knock.


Calla waited a little, still trying to finish her masterpiece.  And no one answered the door.  "Could someone answer that, please?" she hollered out.  Silence.  She looked up.  Empty.  They must all be out celebrating Christmas, she remembered as soon as the decorated interior of the barracks became mostly visible, again.  Earlier in the day, Calla gave up on her contacts, and settled for her glasses (though she still despised them so).  She pushed them back to their proper spot on the bridge of her nose, as the other hand set the legal pad down on her cot.  Promptly, she tightened her top-knot-esque hair, and headed for the door.

As soon as she opened it, she couldn't believe her eyes.  "C-Cicero?" she stuttered, quietly.  A wild smile grew on her face.  "You're alive?" she muttered to herself, then again the smile still growing.  She spoke louder, "You're alive!"  Her tone darkened, though, "Where in the name of Mars have you been!?"  After all, she had thought he had been long dead, just like all of the other people that weren't at this new location when she was.

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Re: Changing Times ((Calla))

Post by Guest on Sat Dec 28, 2013 5:47 pm

((Fine XDD))

As Cicero waited in front of the closed door, the seconds seemed to stretch on forever. He kept a position of attention, as it seemed to be the way his body moved naturally after spending years in the legion. Resisting the urge to fidget, Cicero exhaled softly as still nothing happened. The silence was deafening, and Cero was starting to think he’d made a mistake, coming here. For one, there seemed to be nobody in the barracks currently. Or maybe, Calla was inside and knew, by some method, that it was him and she was ignoring him. Cero wouldn’t blame her, at this point. Waiting a little longer, Cero finally made a motion, and knocked on the door again. He beat out the knocks to a familiar rhythm, We Will Rock You. Hearing the tune brought back memories of an earlier time, a simpler time, and it made Cicero feel nostalgic. Hopefully, Calla would recognize the tune, and remember that it had been the way he knocked for years when he was younger.

After a little more time, Cicero gave up, and decided he would simply head back to his barracks and forget the whole thing. At that moment, the door opened, revealing a very familiar sight. Calla, his older sister, looked exactly the way he remembered her (a little shorter, but that was because he’d grown). She was starting to look closer to their mother, and Cicero had to blink a couple times not to think of her, and instead focus on his sister.

Calla must have been as dumbfounded as him, because the first word she spoke was in a stutter, and not with her usual confident voice. Instead of smiling, or running away, Cicero responded quietly, “Calla.” His eyes locked onto hers, and he recognized those eyes. Yes, this was his sister. Calla really was alive, and after two years of believing otherwise, Cicero could hardly believe it. Apparently, she felt the same way, voicing Cero’s thoughts. But then again, the two siblings had always been on similar wavelengths. Watching his sister smile and state his being of existence, Cicero felt his heart clench. He wanted to hug her and tell her all about his experiences, like when they were younger and she’d visit home from the legion.

But times had changed since then, and Cero was not so open-hearted now. So instead, he responded simply. “Surprise,” he said in a neutral tone, still quiet, (hopefully) not betraying any emotions. Keep your Roman face on, he reminded himself. And yet, when his sister’s tone darkened and she asked where he is, he had to take a step back in surprise. She had never really used that tone with him, ever, unless she was joking. His hand went to his sword hilt, although he had no intention of taking it out. His face, previously with a surprised look, returned to an expression of neutrality.

“Around.” This was his simple answer to where he’d been. Cero, still apprehensive, maintained a careful distance from his sister. In an attempt to lighten the mood, he spoke. “I heard Mars claimed you as one of his legacies. I could have guessed.” The attempt was feeble, he knew, but nothing else came to Cicero’s mind. Instead, he watched her carefully, waiting for her next move. One pause and Cicero spoke one more time. “I missed you.”

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Re: Changing Times ((Calla))

Post by Calla Torquatus on Sun Dec 29, 2013 10:58 pm

Calla looked at her brother.  He said that he knew about her claiming, and that he missed her.  But, she couldn't do anything expect just look at him.  "Why are you hiding, Nero?" she asked, quietly.  It wasn't like Cicero to be so stoic.  Sure, she expected that from Calix, and maybe Felix.  Not Cicero.  There was something about her baby brother that didn't even hint towards being stoic.  Heck, he'd sung duets with her while Calix was unavailable when they were little tykes back in New Rome.  Now, he's just...emotionless.  Empty.  Almost dead. 

She couldn't lose any one else.  There was nothing else to lose for her.  Her twin sister was dead.  She had no idea about their mother.  Wait.  Mom, the legacy thought.  "Do you know what happened to Mom?  I didn't see her at all after the attack, and..." she trailed off, looking down at the ground.  Calla, one who always had something to say about everything, didn't know how to finish that thought.  In that instant, a wave of guilt ran from the top of her head to the tips of her toes.  It was a feeling that she hadn't felt since seeing Sienna back for the first time at this new location.  "Or the other guy? her volume turned to a mumble, "that I never bothered to remember the name of...  There were too many people that ran through her mind to list all of them, but she did end up listing a few more including their grandparents, and Calix's family that was in New Rome during that time.

Her mind raced through every event that happened on that dark day.  So many deaths that could have been prevented by being able to focus on anyone except herself, Cicero, and Sienna.  It was selfish, but what else was she supposed to do?  Focus on everyone?  No one could have done that.  The mood of Calla dropped, when she expected it to soar, when she thought that she might see her family again.  Instead, she was having flashbacks, and starting to get anxious again.  Terrified, even.  A little tremble in her hands started, but she'd cover it with being cold, and not climatized to this weather.  She took a few breaths, trying to calm back down.  Though, no matter what she did the images still flashed through her mind.

Calla couldn't focus.  "I'm sorry, Cero...I've got to go," she muttered, and retreated back into the barracks.  Instantly back to her cot.  She sat and held her legs.  Calla had shutdown, almost completely.  She hadn't had a panic attack like this since she was living on her own in around Manhattan before she came back to camp.

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Re: Changing Times ((Calla))

Post by Guest on Mon Dec 30, 2013 5:29 pm

Maybe coming to see Calla hadn’t been the best idea. Cero wasn’t the way she remembered him to be, he could tell by the way she was acting. None of this was going the way he had hoped. Cicero fought to keep straight posture, as well as a neutral expression, as Calla asked him the question he’d been hoping to avoid. Cero himself knew why he was so different. He remembered being a very open little boy, and he could tell he was hardly recognizable now. He had seen it in his discussion with Calix, how different he was. How different everything was. There was no simple answer for Calla, and Cicero had no desire to go into detail about his time away from camp. “I don’t want to be hurt anymore.” That was the information he eventually chose to share, after a few moments of silence. Being open and honest got you nowhere in the world, and his innocence had disappeared when his home had.

Watching Calla process his return, Cero couldn’t help but notice how different she was too. She obviously still enjoyed dancing, if the music he’d heard from outside the barracks was real. But she wasn’t quite the way he remembered her to be, the same way Calix had seemed different than Cero remembered as well. “Nobody stays the same, Calla. Look at you.” It was all he could say, because Cero was still hurting from what had happened two years ago. Seeing Calla reminded him of everything he lost, and hearing her call him Nero reminded him of times long since gone.

Cero couldn’t help but exhale sharply when Calla asked about their mom. If there was anything that could make him any more emotional, the subject of his mother would do it. A great wave of sadness passed over the boy, rendering him speechless. Cicero gulped, and had to stop to press a hand against his eyes, willing himself not to cry. A moment later, he stopped and looked down at Calla. He shook his head slightly at her question, but couldn’t bring himself to say what he believed happened to their mother. “I don’t know…” he whispered.

It didn’t help, how much Calla was beginning to resemble Amelia Torquatus. If he half-closed his eyes, or was a distance away, Cicero could believe his mother was here. He wasn’t sure personality-wise, but it was especially evident in Calla’s face how much she looked like their mom. “You look like her though.” His voice broke on the last word, and Cicero took a deep breath before saying or doing anything else. No, he was not as ready for this as he had thought. Seeing Calla was reopening all of the old wounds, and rubbing salt in them. He should have waited longer. Time heals everything, and evidently not enough time has passed to heal this.

Calla must have realized this too, and Cicero’s face adopted a look of surprise when the young woman said she had to go. Speechless, Cicero watched her retreat back into the barracks. He stood frozen. As a brother, he knew he had to follow her. As a stranger, he had no such obligation. Has two years really changed me so much, I can’t even comfort my own sister? The thought alarmed him, and any further thoughts of leaving left his mind. Cicero entered the barracks cautiously, leaving the door open behind him.

The barracks were empty, except for the siblings. Calla had retreated into her bunk, adopting a position Cicero was very familiar with. A part of him wished it was like older times, and she had climbed the tree to do this. It was so much easier shouting up a tree than the way they were here now. Taking another deep breath, Cicero sat next to Calla on the bunk, rigid at first. He hadn’t had to do this for years, and even so, never like this. “Cali…” he whispered. He hesitantly put a hand on her shoulder, for fear she would push him away. “Please don’t shut me out…not after so much time apart.”

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Re: Changing Times ((Calla))

Post by Calla Torquatus on Wed Jan 01, 2014 5:43 pm

((Heh...about that agreement........-hides-))

Calla shook her head.  "No matter what you do, Cero, there's always going to be something.  And shutting everything down isn't the way to go," she spoke calmly.  Just as calm as her tone was, the reality of her experience in that part of coping with things was all too familiar.  As a child, she never really learned how to cope with things.  Her mom never found her when Calla went hiding after something happened.  It was Calix and Felix that would really help.  Usually, at least.  She had gotten into the habit of being able to run from her problems, though, and just wait for them to go away.  After the attack, there wasn't really a chance for her to do that.  Calla felt as though she needed to be a stoic rock.  Maybe that's how Cero feels, she thought.  There was nothing worse than not being able to do anything when there was an image to uphold.  Even when she was away from both Sienna and the Legion, Calla still wouldn't let anything show.  She was like a two-way mirror that neither parties would be able to see.

There was no way that Calla would let her brother end up like that.  She had that pain, and she hated it.  The legacy recalled back to their youth, and how Cicero would follow around, and try to be like her.  As adolescence came about, Calla sort of tried to push him away, and she regretted that every time that it occurred.  Thinking back on it, though, she had always felt bad for Cero at that stage of her life.  She still loved him unconditionally, like their mother told her to, but he was her baby brother, and she felt like he was cramping her style.  

He was right though...No one ever did stay the same.  Time was always changing things, and changing people.  "There hasn't been much change with me, though.  Just that there is a lot shorter of a fuse on some subjects, and now I'm one-of-a-kind."  Truth be told, there had always been a few subjects that Calla had a short fuse on before she ended up exploding at whatever it was that had ignited the fuse.  In the past two years, there were more things that had gotten a shorter fuse, and things that were added that had never crossed her mind before.  Things like the second thing to change about her.  Ever since the attack, Calla had been walking on a thin tightrope across a plummeting drop that fell below her.  And, after hearing the news of her sister, the line grew thinner.  After that day, she had no family.  After a day or two later, she was alone.  Of course, there was always the person who gave her life, sort of.  The genetic contributor.  Sperm donor.  Dead-beat Dad, as some would call him.  But, from the time she was eight-years-old--she wanted no sort of attachment to him.  It wasn't until she changed her name from Garath to Torquatus that she was ever given that luxury.  Even at the present, though, she was still his, legally.  And she hated it.

She hated her father almost as much as she hated not knowing where her mom was.  Reality sunk in when Cicero noted that he, too, didn't know anything about her.  His next comment, though, didn't make anything better, either.  Everyday, she would look in a mirror and not see herself--but her twin.  With Cero's last comment, though, Calla was certain that she wouldn't be seeing just Primrose, anymore.  Though, a weak smile snuck onto her face.  It wasn't big, or toothy, or the stage-smile that she'd been working on in school.  Just a pained grin, that barely curled.  This was a bad idea, she thought.  But, her words that she murmured next didn't reflect what she was feeling internally.  "You look like her, too, Nero."  It was true.  She could see the resemblance, very easily.  Now, obviously, it wouldn't ever be as great as Calla's resemblance, as genetically being incapable of having a mirror image of their mother on his face would be naturally impossible.

After that thought, though, Calla's anxiety worsened.  

Her shaking got more violent, no matter how she tried to keep it contained.  

And her breathing got shallower.

Calla rested her forehead against her knees as she adopted a position a little too familiar to her.  Her unnamed-coloured eyes were hidden behind shut eyelids, as she tried to control her breathing, once again.  Her hands holding up her knees were enough to control the shaking, but nothing could stop the images that were flashing behind her close eyes.  She opened them once of twice, and she could still hear the screams of the Legion.

"Cali..." she heard a soft, gentle tone from her brother, just after she had felt a change in the weight distribution on the cot.  

Then, a foreign hand on her shoulder.  Instantly, Calla's entire body tensed up like she had just been tazed with 5,000 bolts of electricity, but not being able to relax.  It was muscle memory, more than feeling threatened.  He was her baby brother, but still she couldn't help but utter a rather panicked, "No!" before trying to break away from the touch.

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Re: Changing Times ((Calla))

Post by Guest on Wed Jan 01, 2014 9:27 pm

Cicero had originally come to try and find some closure. After not seeing his sister for so long, he thought seeing her would help him come to terms with what had happened and start a new life. However, all this meeting had accomplished had been to show how stuck in the past Cero still was, and seeing Calla was opening old wounds. Listening to her tell him shutting down wasn’t the correct solution was difficult. Rather than accept these words and leave it at that, Cero couldn’t help but feel angry at those words. How many times, when they were younger, had he seen Calla run away from her problems? How many times had she scaled a tree to avoid confronting whatever was bothering her? And then she was telling Cero it wasn’t the right way?

It took a big measure of self-control to keep Cero from snapping and retorting angrily back. When he finally trusted himself enough to speak, it was in a steely calm voice, similar to how Calla was speaking. “People who are exposed are the people who are exploited. Showing emotions and feelings paints a target in your back. Naturally, the solution is to simply hide them.” He didn’t say any more than that, and he found he didn’t have much opportunity to, for Calla kept things moving along at a measured pace, as if she was purposefully not allowing him time to respond. At the same time, the young woman seemed deep in thought, and Cero wondered what she was thinking about. If it was anything like what was running through Cero’s mind, it wasn’t the best things.

This meeting was simply a repeat of past experiences. Calla, as they had grown older, constantly pushed him away. It was never anything personal, Cero knew, it was just a sibling thing. She didn’t want to be seen around him. Still, it did hurt when she’d kick him out, or when Calla rejected him. He’d had to adjust to that, his older sister not wanting to be seen with him. In a way, it had contributed to the distance between the siblings now. Cicero had gone into the world on his own, and he eventually stopped depending on his sister for things. To the point where he just didn’t need her anymore. It hurt, having to do that, but it made him stronger. While it wasn’t the way Cicero would have preferred to stop hanging around his sister, he was never going to push her to do otherwise. And he wouldn’t now.

He was standing in front of Calla now, but there was so much distance between the two siblings. He had started pulling away after finding out about his father being the god; she had started pushing back as they grew up. After the disaster at Camp Jupiter, Cicero isolated himself and never let his mind debate where she was still alive or not. That just couldn’t be a possibility, because then it would have meant his sister left him alone, again. Just as it had in the past, and just as it was happening now. He didn’t say anything else to Calla; she was doing the majority of the speaking, and Cero didn’t know what else to contribute. Arguing with the legacy was pointless, because she’d fight to the death. Besides, who was Cero to judge how Calla had changed? This was the first time he’d seen her in years.

So instead of arguing with Calla that more had changed than her short temper, he simply shrugged. He did respond, though, softly saying, “You were always one of a kind.” It was obvious in the sense of Calla being able to be a warrior, at the same time as enjoying pleasures like singing and dancing. But Cero knew it stretched beyond that. What each sibling’s definition of one of a kind was probably differed, but Cicero knew nobody else would ever be like his sister, with all her talents and flaws and characteristics. But really, would he have it any other way?

The conversation was mostly one-sided at this point, with Cicero just not having much to say. He didn’t want to sound weak, and he knew his voice would crack if he responded to Calla saying he looked like their mother as well. Cero didn’t respond, but instead gripped his sword harder to stop the emotions from overwhelming him. Again, the boy could feel waves of grief rolling over him, from losing his mother.

Cicero, promptly, had other things to worry about. He was still unsure about his decision to follow Calla in, considering her state of instability she was in. Cero felt much the same way, but evidently, had learned to master his emotions. It would take more than this for Cero to fully crack. He could feel, however, leaks in his wall, strings of different emotions, mostly sadness, pouring out slowly. The thought, though alarming, was also almost a relief. So he could still feel. Cero had started to become unsure, spending so much time isolated and unattached to anybody.

Watching Calla sitting on her bunk in such a vulnerable position was hard to watch. Calla had always been stronger than Cero; she’d always been a model for him to attempt to shape himself after. After she had begun to push him away, Cicero had started attempting to imitate Calix more, yes, but Calla had always been an important person to him. And so one of the most painful experiences he’d had, in his whole life, came when Calla pushed him away screamed at him.

In that moment, a flood of emotions overwhelmed Cicero. A mixture of anger, sadness, grief, and hurt began to boil in his stomach, and the boy promptly retracted his hand. His eyes widened as he watched Calla push away from him, and he couldn’t stop the tears welling up in his eyes. Cero had to stop and wipe his eyes, before speechlessly watching his sister. “Calla…” The one word escaped, and for once, Cicero had nothing barring his emotions from his voice. It was one of the most vulnerable words he had spoken in years, since before Camp Jupiter had been destroyed. Cero stood up sharply, unable to stop the waves of hurt streaming through his body. “Why do you push me away?” he asked, feeling his internal walls crumbling. “Why do you always push me away? What did I ever do to make you so…ashamed of me?”

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Re: Changing Times ((Calla))

Post by Calla Torquatus on Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:41 am

Honestly, Calla did much more trying to read her brother's face than anything else.  Cicero wasn't acting at all like himself.  She completely understood that there were plenty of reasons to not be the same...But he was only seventeen--fifteen at the time of the attack.  He shouldn't have to be like that, nor should he be saying things like that.  He should be invincible because he's seventeen--not invincible because he doesn't show emotion.  Even if she was trying to decipher him, Calla still listened with open ears (if she weren't he would have been able to tell, even with the classes she was taking at AMDA).  That didn't stop her from wondering, though.  "People get exploited because they are cocky, Cicero--not because they have visible feelings," she spoke sternly.

Hiding emotions wasn't he way to go.  Calla tried that once, and it did not end up well.  Given, the legacy had just gone through double trauma, and she was nothing but numb.  She barely ate, again (during that time).  She didn't want to talk to anyone.  She didn't really do...anything.  When losing family, friends, home...life twice what else would anyone do? Plus, Callista was notorious for not coping well.  Though, Calla did do one thing to help with everything that she bottled up.  She started writing poetry right after the attack.  But, still.  Calla felt that her baby brother was still to young for what all of the survivors went through.  "Hiding isn't going to do you any good--if anything, it'll be worse for you than being 'exploited,'" she put air-quotes around the ending word.

You were always one of a kind.

The simple sentence echoed throughout the centurion's mind.  No, Calla was never one of a kind.  With each attribute that made her stick out to the world, there was someone or something that she had picked it up from.  The passive-agressiveness she got from her drunk of a father.  The obsession with Roman history from both of her grandfathers.  The love of show tunes definitely came from her mother.  Dance, again, from her father.  The list continued for every little thing that Calla knew about herself.  It ended, though, with her face--the one thing that was only hers, now.  The face that she used to share with Primrose April Garath.  The one that she looked in the mirror and she didn't see herself--but saw an image of her deceased genetic clone.  So, Calla knew that she was never one-of-a-kind--at least, until Prim no longer walked on the earth.  In response to her brother's comment, though, Calla simply, and wordlessly shook her head.

Callista cursed the habit she addicted herself to to react whenever anyone put a hand on her shoulder.  As soon as she was back out of muscle-memory and in control of herself again, she glared at her brother.  "Push you away?!" Calla asked, sharply.  "Are you kidding me, Cicero?!  You know that I didn't do that when I knew you needed help with anything.  You know that it didn't happen when it was important.  Who was the one that read you bedtime stories every night?  It certainly wasn't mom.  And don't you dare try and tell me that I'm ashamed of you, either, Cicero."  Calla just stared at her brother.  "What would make you even think something like that?" her tone dropped from explosive to concerned older sister in about five seconds...

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Re: Changing Times ((Calla))

Post by Guest on Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:58 pm

Cicero, feeling more vulnerable and exposed than he had in years, couldn’t handle looking his sister in the face. He turned his back to her, facing the door instead. His posture cracked, and he hunched his shoulders in slightly, the way he used to do when trying to make himself appear small, and insignificant. Calla was wrong, she was wrong. Cero had seen, time and time again, people exploited for showing any emotion. He’d seen love-struck girls taken advantage of, insecure teenagers taken advantage of, everything. He’d seen happiness ruined, and sadness, and anger. It was in human nature to be inherently evil, and people used emotions as a weakness. Perhaps cockiness was one of them, but not only. Revenge came from anger, jealousy from insecurity. Fights came from weakness, and one could only makeup when they pushed their emotions away and let logic speak. How many times had he seen this to be true? But he couldn’t find words to respond, to tell Calla what he’d seen. He’d seen too much…nothing anybody should ever have to see.

He needed to reign in his emotions. They were running wild, years of anger and sadness and hurt pent up were all coming out now. The boy had internalized any emotion he’d ever felt, or wanted to feel, and it was flooding out in uneven torrents, sometimes more gentle and sometimes more harsh. The level of control Cicero usually had was slipping, and the boy couldn’t calm himself down. These feelings were simply inflamed as Calla responded to everything Cicero had said. How she had always been there when it had been important, how she was never ashamed of him.

Wheeling around, Cicero stared his sister down. “Where were you when Camp Jupiter was being destroyed?” he demanded, looking right into her eyes. “Where were you when I dug through the rubble, looking for you and mom and everybody else? Where were you when I was out in the real world, and I broke down and begged the gods to help me?” His tone was rather harsh, remembering those scenes, those memories. He shut his eyes for a moment, before opening them again. “Where were you when I shouted for you, when I needed you? And where were you when I realized I didn’t need anybody but myself?”

On instinct, Cicero ran his hand through his hair again, clenching it tightly. He squeezed his eyes shut and counted to ten in his head, in the familiar Latin. “I don’t need you,” he said quietly. “I don’t need you, or your approval.” It was the hard truth, it was something Cicero had had to come to terms with. He had broken down, in an alleyway in San Francisco. He called out for Calla, and for his mother, and eventually even to his father. After time had passed, and he couldn’t cry any more than he already had, Cicero had looked back on his actions and seen weakness. He had realized, in that moment, that he couldn’t depend on anybody. They had all left him, and had hurt him. Only he could be what he needed, and that had to be enough for him. Cicero’s eyes opened, and he felt drained. Years of turmoil was being let out, and now Cicero felt…empty.

He regarded Calla with a calmer mentality than earlier. “You were gone, Calla. I must have done something for you to abandon me.” He thought for a moment. “I don’t need you, but…I wanted to see you. I came here because I wanted to see you, and I wanted things to be like they were before.” He stopped, and stared at Calla. “I see it’s impossible now. You can’t accept me for how I am.” Cicero lifted his arms, letting his whole image show. “This is me. Take it or leave it.”

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Re: Changing Times ((Calla))

Post by Calla Torquatus on Wed Jan 08, 2014 10:45 pm

"Excuse me?" Calla asked, in disbelief when Cero asked where she was when Camp was being destroyed.  "I was fighting for you, Mom, and Grandpa.  Do you really think that I would just leave at a time like that?!"  The anger of that situation had been able to be kept under control while being surrounded by the very people who put them in New York in the first place.  With the first outburst from Cicero, the negativity of the event had started to bubble over.   How could he think that she would just abandon the legion when being attacked?  That she would just leave in the face of something possibly stronger than she was in the eyes of the warrior she made herself to be?  Even just knowing what he thought made Calla's instability worsen.

The real world was a terrifying place, let alone for a fifteen-year-old on his own.  She figured that it would be best to just listen to her brother at this point, instead of countering him like the last time.  Though, when he mentioned screaming out for her in San Francisco, images flew before her eyes.  Back to an alley in San Francisco with Sienna, taking cover and counting for any majour wounds from the latest monster attack that brought them there.  She could have sworn that she heard her name being called by someone, but when she asked Sienna about it, the logic of her friend's words lined up with a possibility.  "I was right," Calla mumbled in response to that, still caught up on her flashback.  Now that she thought about it, again, she did recognise the word 'Mater' after she heard her name.  

At this point, Calla's throat began to close up with the familiar lump as a reaction to try to hold back any sort of negative emotion she had.  She just listened to her brother.  You were gone, Calla.  I must have done something for you to abandon me.  The words echoed in her mind.  It was like her mind was a broken record player, and those words were right where the record decided to stop.  "I...I didn't mean to abandon you, Cicero," she croaked out, with much difficulty with the lump still in her throat.  "And, I swear to God that I looked for you.  But, you weren't there.  Sienna and I searched everywhere for any survivors--but after we didn't see anything but dead bodies, and the fire everywhere...we figured that anyone else would have ran."

Calla again listened to his little spiel about being who he is, and how she should either take him or leave him.  There was no way that she would ever leave him again, now that she knew that he survived.  She just looked at her brother, "What kind of a person--let alone sister--would I be if I didn't accept you for the crap experiences you had?"  Everyone was like that.  It didn't matter who they were before or after the attack, and she knew it.  Though, she still thought that her little brother shouldn't have had those experiences--no one should have, especially those who didn't make it through.  "It's just unfair that you had to have them too, and that's what I'm stuck on," she said, honestly.

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Re: Changing Times ((Calla))

Post by Guest on Sat Jan 11, 2014 10:51 pm

Control. I need control. This simple thought ran through Cicero’s mind consistently. In the beginning, this thought had always drowned out everything else, everything that was happening around Cicero. But now, the thought was so common it became more of a habit than a conscious thought. Cero’s need for control was a major part of his life. The destruction of Camp Jupiter, and the mayhem that followed had been completely out of his control. That had been when Cicero had truly felt helpless, and his life began to revolve around controlling everything from that point on. This meant a variety of things, and it normally varied from day to day. Right now, Cero needed to control this conversation, for it was getting too out of control for him.

Feeling hollow was helping Cero keep a clear mind. Listening to Calla’s indignant statements wasn’t as emotion-wracking as before, and Cicero’s answer was composed, with a steely calm sense to it. “Didn’t you?” Cicero responded quietly, to Calla asking if he thought she’d leave at such an integral time. He didn’t have much more to say in that respect, as he’d had this conversation in his mind several times. At first, when the attack first occurred, Cero had looked for excuses as to why Calla was gone. All he’d come up with was that she’d ran, and left him behind. These thoughts had banished themselves from his mind for a while, and had recently come back when Calix had told Cicero Calla was still around. And yet, Cero was reluctant to voice these thoughts. Calling his sister a coward was crossing a line, he knew, and he also knew what happened when he crossed that line. Better to avoid it, to be the one trying to prevent the conflict.

Calla’s next few statements were not worth responding to, and Cicero made a face at certain parts. “Gods,” he corrected automatically, a habit that had been years in the making. Cero knew where Calla’s faith was, and her interest in Catholicism. He didn’t debate it with her (anymore), coming to accept his sister’s beliefs. However, at camp, he could never stress enough how much she needed to keep that secret. As he had grown accustomed to, he glanced around to make sure no one was listening. Control. Image. Reputation. Cicero’s three goals to maintain. Three things he needed to feel secure, and not something he was going to lose because his sister wasn’t discreet enough. Cicero furthermore ignored Calla’s (attempted) pacification by saying she looked for him; he didn’t want to hear how she and her best friend had been traveling across the country having adventures with each other. The last thing he needed to hear now was how Calla had been with someone she cared about, and happy. That was like a knife in the gut for Cero.

Cicero grimaced. At this point in time, he didn’t have much to say. His crazy rant earlier had drained years of thoughts and boarded up feelings, and right now Cicero was feeling empty. So he just responded. It was all he could think of doing, frankly. “Is that all you’d accept me for? My crap experiences?” That was all Cero said, and he could feel the harshness of this statement. Of mostly anything he had said, actually. But the boy needed this. After being abandoned, and left for dead, the boy had had to grow up. He couldn’t just think of his own wants, he had to think about what he needed. That left little room for selfish thought, and Cicero needed to be cruel to someone. He had been hurt; he was still hurting. And like any teenager, Cicero needed to pass this pain on to someone else, because he just couldn’t carry it around anymore.

“Don’t get stuck on anything, Calla. We need to move on.” Cicero didn’t quite like the use of the word ‘we,’ but it was all he could think of saying right now. ‘We’ didn’t exist, anymore. “I’ve been hurting for too long…I want it to stop.” Cero paused. “I haven’t had much time to think about what I want,” he began slowly. “But now…I want you to be my sister again. I want to have a family.”

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Re: Changing Times ((Calla))

Post by Calla Torquatus on Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:09 pm

The 'Didn't you?' hurt.  It hurt more than everything that had just been said in the short time that the two had had since Cicero showed up at the door of the barracks.  It hurt so much that the only thing Calla could do was just stare at her brother.  After a few seconds, she could blink again.  Then, a good ten extra seconds later, she opened her mouth to speak, but closed it again, due to lack of collected thoughts.  Another moment passed, and finally, she was able collect her thoughts.  "Do you really think I did?" The words were quiet.  Vulnerable, even.  It wasn't that she felt it, but how else would she have reacted with that sort of sanction?  Clearly, it was something she ever thought she would would have needed to come across.  There was a line of things that she could process, and a line of things that she couldn't.  Didn't you run away during the attack? was definitely one of the things that she could not process--at least in a timely manner.  Considering the fact that she still hated the vast majority of Greeks (the only exception being her rooming, and that was still at a level of strictly toleration).  Considering that fact that she still had aggression towards any who were on that side.  No to mention the PTDS.  The nightmares...

...The promise that she and Sienna made...

"Does it honestly matter what I say?" Calla spat.  "What is the huge difference between singular and plural when talking?  No one pays that much attention to anything anymore."  Legally, she could say anything that she wanted, now that she was no longer a minor.  "Plus, I have the right now, so I can actually say what I want," she added.  Well, except for like four things... Calla thought.  Still, she could never see what the big deal was with "God" versus "gods."  The written was extremely obvious; the spoken, though...Calla had issues seeing a majour difference.  Nevertheless, it wasn't the most important aspect of the conversation...Even if it did bother her, because she was sick of always being corrected.  There was never anything more than 'Don't use that at Camp.'  So, it wasn't like he tried to enforce it (not like Calla would let him tell her what to do).  Though, now that she was over eighteen, she coudl say pretty much anything without being restricted.  So, with that, she had yet another valid argument for her case.

"Why must you keep putting contexts into my words that weren't implied?" Calla sighed, in a very mumbled tone.  First (just that day), with the supposed purposeful deserting, and now with the crap experience thing...Calla knew that she didn't think before she spoke, so in the back of her mind, she could justify anything she ever said.  But, still.  If people would just keep the implications the same as interpretations, Calla's life would be so much easier...Again, Calla looked at Cero, "Not even in the slightest, Nero--and you should know that."  The intention she had with the previous statement was what sister would not accept their baby brother for anything that he couldn't necessarily control.  It mattered to her that she couldn't find him since the attack.  When Calla and Sienna rummaged through the rubble, ash, and overall mess that was once New Rome, and there was no sign of Cicero, their mother, nor their grandfather.

Don't get stuck, he says, Calla thought.  Cicero should have know that Calla was a dweller.  She wasn't one to easily just forgive-and-forget.  She stayed on things until she was done with them.  That was how she always had been, at least.  I don't think you understand what I saw that day... she thought.  "Moving on from that takes more than two, very long years, Cicero," Calla muttered.

The next string of sentences brought Calla back to being speechless.  Again, it took a minute for each new sentence to make sense in her head.  For some reason, the Cicero standing before her morphed back to the Nero she should have been continuing the rest of her adolescence  years with.  The Nero that wasn't stoic like the being before her.  But, the Cero she would have spent the last two years with, instead of running around the country--not knowing what happened to any of her family.  The last set of words made Calla's eyes fill with salty tears, but none fell (whether it was her own stubbornness, or that the weight wasn't enough to drag the tears in streams down her face), which she wasn't going to complain about.  Just before her emotions decided to get...well, emotional...a smile, slowly but surely, found its way to the woman's face.  "I didn't know that I ever stopped being your sister, Nero," she said, wiping the intruding physical reaction to emotion away from her eyes.  "As long as we can be a family, just the two of use for now, I'm fine with that."  At this point, Calla also wanted to mention how there wasn't going to be much time for the two to catch up, face-to-face at this new Camp location.  But, she didn't want to ruin the moment, quite yet.

She wanted to tell him that she was living the dream she had always had.  How she was living out in Manhattan, going to the American Musical and Dance Academy, for Performing Arts.  About all of the little things that have happened since April 8th, 2013--a date that she wouldn't easily forget.  But, all of that could easily be saved for another time, another place, another day.

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Re: Changing Times ((Calla))

Post by Guest on Sat Jan 18, 2014 9:12 pm

Cicero was not a very well-spoken guy. He never had much to say anymore, and what he did usually came in short bursts. He could never fully articulate his ideas, and talking to people involved more body language than actual dialogue. It was the way he worked, the way he had learned to function after dialogue stopped being enough to express how he truly felt. That being said…Cero knew what to say to hurt his sister. He wasn’t proud of it, but after knowing her for so long, two years didn’t make much of a difference. People changed, he knew, but some part of them always stayed the same. For all of Calla’s insistence that she was the same, Cero could see it wasn’t true. But her beliefs, just like his values, were always there. Calla hated being a coward. Cero knew it. Bringing up her flight from the battle was enough to get her attention. Cero just had to find a way to keep it.

Most of what Calla said was not worth responding to. Calla asked him if he really thought she ran, and Cero knew his silence would be enough to convey his answer. Silence was more powerful than words, sometimes. Finally, Cicero was thinking clearly again. His emotional burst had drained him, and his focus on the conversation with Calla was helping him be clear-minded. No more outbursts.

He had hit another soft spot with his correction. Cero watched, with a slight hint of amusement, how worked up Calla got. She hated when he corrected her, and the two often had lengthy debates on the subject. Neither one yielded (weakness was not in their blood). Their mother had also talked to Cicero, but nothing would sway him. There were multiple gods, and it mattered to him what his sister thought. He bit his tongue to stop himself from retorting that there was a very big difference between singular and plural, and instead calmly watched Calla freak out. He always did have a knack for getting complicated reactions out of her…and yet, it was different this time. She would always win him over in the end, whatever they were talking about. She couldn’t this time. He wouldn’t let her.

The boy hadn’t spoken so far, and he had little intention of changing that. When Cicero spoke, he could feel his control slipping away. He couldn’t lose control. That possibility never formulated itself in his mind…because he’d never had control before. His father wasn’t Cero’s choice, and the topic of how he and Calla were technically only half-siblings was a touchy one for Cero. Never being able to win against Calla, the destruction of Camp Jupiter…it all led to Cero desperately holding on to what little control he had. Calla always made him lose this control, and he simply wouldn’t allow her to do that anymore. To Calla’s exasperated comment on context, Cicero answered. “Speak clearly.” Nice, and simple. No room for misunderstandings. Calla always insisted on complicating things, and Cero had just never understood that. He would never understand his sister. And he supposed she would never understand him.

“Have you tried?” His short question was directed towards Calla’s tendency to get stuck in the past. Another similarity between the Torquatus siblings. Neither one was good at moving on from things. And yet, hadn’t Cero tried? Hadn’t his entire personality change been to move on, to empower himself again? Cicero had, to the best of his ability, tried…something he was always taught to do. Calla had been the one to show him how stubbornness could pay off, but something Cicero had learned himself was how change had to be integrated into that as well. He couldn’t be static, because the world wasn’t that way. And as Cero had learned, it was impossible to remain in a fantasy world where everything was the same. The real world didn’t allow for that, and the real world was harsh. Cicero would have to change to keep up with it, and it was a simple inevitability. Whether he was alone or not in his belief didn’t matter…it worked for Cero, and wasn’t that all that mattered?

However, for all his talk of self-control…at Calla’s last few comments, the boy felt his stomach clench, and his eyes…they were watering. A family had been all he ever wanted. Cicero took a moment to recollect himself. He hated being alone. It was a survival tactic, and one that worked, but the boy didn’t like it. He felt worthless and useless and like he had no place in the world. He had had a family, and he had lost it. From that point on, Cicero had been alone. Undeserving of a family and love, he thought. And now…it was like he was being presented with a second opportunity. And the boy knew he had to take it.

“We are a family,” he finally spoke, choosing his words carefully. “You, and me…and Calix, too. We’ve always been a family.” Keep it together, Cero. Calla and he had always been close, despite their differences. Calix had been around for as long as Cicero could remember, and while the older boy was a role-model…he was like an older brother, too. They’d been separated for a while, Calla and Cicero…but there were so many opportunities now. Things couldn't be like they were, he knew. Cicero had changed, and Calla had changed, and Calix had changed. Things were different. But maybe it could be a better type of different…and maybe they could all be closer than ever before. He could tell Calla everything…a notion that had never been an option before, not even as a child.

Fantasies of a new family promptly entered Cicero’s head, and he had to stop and clear his mind. “There’s so much to tell…” he said quietly, his tone full of emotions he couldn't name. So much…he wasn't sure he could ever get it all out, but the boy could certainly try. But that was for later. Cicero stared at Calla, and took a moment to think. Then, he spoke. “Family?” he asked softly, for confirmation. He held his hand out for a handshake, a formal way for two people to state their agreement on a subject. They could be a family, he decided. An odd, Roman, quirky family…but would he ever have it any other way?

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Re: Changing Times ((Calla))

Post by Calla Torquatus on Tue Jan 28, 2014 2:31 pm

Calla glared slightly at Cero when he told her to speak clearly.  "I do, she muttered, and looked at her knees. At least, I'm pretty sure I do... she ended up thinking, shortly later.  The whole looking at her knees thing was short lived  She didn't have official ADHD, but there were times that she was certain would be easily diagnosed with it.  Her attention, at this point, wasn't on herself. Her senses were on the fritz, as WWIII was pretty much erupting and on it's way back to world peace amongst the unsuspecting siblings.  It didn't matter that Cicero wasn't technically her 'whole' brother.  It was like the whole gang--it didn't matter if they weren't related, because they were all a family.  No matter what Cero thought, Calla knew that he was her brother.  Heck, even if he were completely adopted, he would still be her brother.  Family doesn't describe just who one is related to by blood.

Cero broke Calla's train of thought.  "Have I tired?" she spat.  "What do you mean have I tried?  Of course I've tried.  But, you know, nightmares continue as a plague.  Memories never cease to reveal themselves.  It's had to move one when all you see is something that has a minor similarity to anyone who didn't make it, and the ghost is all you see.  When all you can see is a ghost of someone that you'll never see again--of a person that is lost."  There had been too many instances where she would be walking around, and she would see ghosts.  The most prominent, though, being whenever she looked in a the mirror.  She didn't ever see Callista Aurora.  She always saw Primrose April.  The only difference (apart from the obvious) was in the eyes.  Even if Prim's eyes were lightless, Calla could often see the light from her own eyes dimming.  Prim's eyes weren't scarred with the same memories that Calla had that would never go away.  Prim's eyes weren't hard, like Calla's, from losing all of the trust she had in the world.  To be honest, Calla was a little envious of Prim.  Not that she was jealous of dying, or anything, but that Prim wasn't scarred in the same way.

She missed her family.  Since the return of the whole gang, things have certainly been similar, but still, nothing was the same as it was.  Mia was still the clown of the group (definitely in a good way), Calix remained the one who was always teased (being the only other male, besides Cicero, he was a very easy target to play with), Sienna was still the logical one, and Calla...well, she was still the antagonist that the group needed to stay together.  While they had all been back, Calla still felt a bit of distance between the bunch.  But, now that Cicero was back, that might change.  He was the little brother to all of them, at least...That's how Calla saw it.  (Even though, she got dibbs on her baby brother.)

calla just nodded when Cero talked about family.  She agreed when he said that there was so much to tell, but she didn't elaborate--not yet.  Two years away from family was too long for anyone.  It certainly was enough to be able to spring a conversation for hours.  When he asked fora confirmation on being family, Calla just looked at him.  Well...more of the hand he extended.  "If we are family, I'm not shaking your hand," a corner of her lip curled up a little.  "Families hug, not shake hands.  You should know this by now.  Besides, I'm sure mom taught you that--and I'm sure that I've taught you that.  So, you have no escape."  It was only logic, and Calla opened her arms for a hug.

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Re: Changing Times ((Calla))

Post by Guest on Fri Feb 07, 2014 1:13 am

Arguing with Calla was pointless. Cicero knew this; he had grown up knowing this. For as long as he could remember, whenever the two siblings had been at odd, nothing had ever gotten resolved (until later, at least). Neither one had ever backed down, convinced the other was wrong and they were right. It had been a tricky dynamic to work with, but one Cicero had gotten used to. He never let Calla win (although she always claimed she had). So, with her arguing now against his accusation of her speaking vaguely, he wasn’t surprised she was contesting what he had to say. Did he honestly expect anything else? But for the first time, he simply had no motivation to argue back. He wasn’t filled with the need to be right, as he usually did. So he simply shrugged, choosing not to respond.

It was becoming more and more common for Cicero to do this, recently. He had his opinions, but he wasn’t particularly interested in forcing other people into seeing things his way. The boy wasn’t sure where this apathy (was it apathy?) had come from, but he accepted it and didn’t get insulted at Calla’s biting response to his very simply question. Watching her get worked up was a common sight as well (did he ever mention his sister was a total drama queen?). He knew what she was saying; nightmares and memories were not new to him. He was surrounded with them all night, and all day. It was his life, and it had been worse when he was alone. Although he had to admit, being back in Camp Jupiter was giving him serious flashbacks. Flashbacks he was trying his best to ignore.

Cero knew where Calla was coming from, on this. He sees ghosts everywhere, all the time. He still sees ghosts now. “Are you a ghost, Calla?” Cero asked quietly, eyes scanning the girl in front of him. She had been lost to him for years, years that seemed to stretch into forever. He had thought he lost her, forever. In fact, he still wasn’t entirely convinced otherwise. “Are you one of my ghosts?” Why was he asking her? She had been so important to him, she still was. His mother had raised him, but Calla had been there the entire time, influencing his whole life. She’d given him something to hold on to, when he thought he couldn’t hold onto his mother anymore. It had been that way, until she had let go too. Was she still lost?

Stuffing his hands in his pockets, Cicero watched Calla. Speaking of ghosts, he knew who she was thinking of. How could he ever forget his other big sister, who had been lost to him before he had ever known her? He’d never known Prim; Calla’s father had taken her away before Cicero could really remember her. The twins would reunite every now and then, but Cero never felt he had any place there. So he had stayed away, and he knew Prim was more important to Calla than she was to him. More important than he was to her. He wasn’t bitter about it, but Prim would always be a ghost, and he wasn’t sure their family would ever be the same without her.

Family. Gods, he was so ready to have a family again, and to be loved again. There was no love in the real world, not for him. Only here, in this world shut away from mortals is where he could be. Cicero eyed Calla nervously, his hand still extended. What was she thinking? It became clear enough at her next comment, but Cero still stared at her blankly as she rejected the handshake. She honestly couldn’t be asking him to…? Cicero gulped nervously as Calla demanded her hug. “You can’t be serious,” he said softly, staring wide-eyed at her. He’d tried his best to grow out of hugs (hey, puberty), and he hadn’t been hugged once in the few years he’d been alone.

Watching nervously as Calla opened her arms, Cicero swept a hand through his hair. “Calla…” No way. Cicero would have to stand his ground on this one. He was not 10 years old and begging Calla to come with him to the Wolf House. He was a hardened Roman soldier, and Roman soldiers do not [i]hug./[i] Backing up a couple steps, Cicero shook his head. “You don’t have enough blackmail in the world for that.”

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Re: Changing Times ((Calla))

Post by Calla Torquatus on Wed Mar 19, 2014 11:04 pm

Cicero posed a good question.  Was Calla a ghost?  Surely, the possibilities were in favour of the question.  She had been a ghost before.  In the distant past, she was a ghost of the second daughter that her mother had.  Years later, despite consistent arguments, Calla was again placed in that role (a ghost of Primrose), this time for a man who grew crazy--one that Calla would refuse to refer to as anything than a simple pronoun.  Just before that, Calla was a ghost of New Rome.  Upon wandering back to Camp, the legacy, again, faced the role.  A ghost of the past.  This time, it was for her best friend--her practical triplet-brother.  (Of course, though, he wasn't related genetically, yet the twenty-three days that separated them, let alone the family ties, had pretty much destined them to be at the very least allies, and the friendship that both families had welcomed for generations.)  Being that ghost was nothing compared to the confrontation that was posed with Cicero.  While Calix felt like a brother, Cero was blood.  Honestly, Calla knew that if the roles were flipped, she would be just as pained as she could tell he was.

It only took a short while to internalise what had been running through her mind, yet the silence that was surrounding the two, it felt unnaturally long.  Effortlessly, Calla's shoulders shrugged.  "I probably am, but it wouldn't be the first time" she said, her volume softer than before, reflecting the tone she had along with it--vulnerable.  "First time with you, but there have been other times," the legacy justified, knowing it was an explanation--not an excuse.

Calla's expression hardened a bit when her arms remained empty.  Well, thank you for the awkwardness, Nero, she thought.  There were only a few things that Calla thought were awkward, and being rejected a hug--or any form of affection, for that matter--was definitely considered awkward...Considering the fact that her non-violent gestures of affection were few and far between...Calla was honestly surprised.  Come on, Nero," she looked at him, face like stone. The almost-but-not-quite disapproval was apparent, but not as much as the disappointment.  "It's been two years," she spoke again.

Calla smirked a tad when Cero mentioned the blackmail.  "Because blackmail is the way to get hugs," she responded, sarcastically, pulling her arms back.  "Bribery is a much better way to go around that one."  The legacy thought for a few seconds.  "Plus, you would fight back.  Calix hasn't figured that one out yet...I don't think."  A little smug smirk found its way on to her face.  She still got to do a lot more than the average legionnaire.  It helped that she could use the centurion excuse, but she knew that it was benefits that have rolled-over into the present.  "I just thought that a hug would be something that normal families do," Calla justified, a bit sadly.  There was a fine line between 'normal' and 'Torquatus' that put the Torquatuses along the far edge of 'normal.'  It was something that Calla wouldn't change for the world, though.

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Re: Changing Times ((Calla))

Post by Guest on Fri Mar 21, 2014 11:14 pm

Now that everything had been said, Cicero was starting to feel relieved. Not better, he wasn’t going to feel better for a long time. His entire world had been ripped away from him in one day at a young age, and nobody just forgot that. Cero had been alone, and he had lost his family and all sense of meaning in life. He hadn’t seen the point of living in an empty world, but now it wasn’t empty anymore. Cicero, when first faced with Calix, had started to feel something again. He wasn’t sure what, but it had been sorely lacking and Cicero had been relieved to find that he could feel something, and meeting Calix again had been a beacon of hope in his world of darkness.

Seeing Calla again lit up that world. She had always been so, so important to him, even if he wouldn’t admit it (as a youngster or growing up). The two siblings had been so close, and the dynamic of their relationship was unique and something Cicero would never have given up for the world (and he wouldn’t still). His life had been devoid of family and love without Calla, and now he had the chance to have both again. Calla might have been a ghost, she may be stuck in the past, but she was his future too. In all of Camp Jupiter, his sister had been the one thing Cero wished he could have saved (although he should have known Calla didn’t need anyone to save her). His eyes searched hers at her comment on ghosts, and he couldn’t bring himself to say that she was the farthest thing from a ghost in his mind. Calla was everything he could hope for the future, everything he could see coming out. From now on, she was his key to getting everything back that he had lost, a little at a time.

He found himself slightly amused at Calla’s face. He could see the disapproval and disappointment, those were apparent. Calla had obviously brought those to the front for him. He could see the awkwardness underneath it, with a tint of sourness. Cicero wished he could do that more often, leave Calla speechless. It would have been great every time a new season of her favorite show came out. The silence never lasted, nor did the awkwardness, but Cero would enjoy it as it came. Not that he’d ever tell her that, he liked his head attached to his body.

Once Calla pulled her arms back, Cicero thought he was in the clear until she had to pull the family card. The one thing she knew he was desperate for, the one thing she knew he couldn’t refuse. While he would have loved to point out that the Torquatus family was hardly normal…she had a point. She had a point. Cicero, stuck between the two choices, looked her over. Could he really deny Calla this one thing, after everything she had done for him? Everything she was doing? The answer didn’t take long to get to, and it took less time to validate. Cero only had a moment to internally sigh before he quickly wrapped his arms around Calla in a hug. Give her less time to react, pull away faster. This would be nice and easy.

Unable to avoid showing off his height to his older, more petite sister, Cicero picked her up off the ground and tightened his grip. Gods…it’d been so long since he’d hugged his sister, and he had missed it. He had missed her. Feeling he had to say something, Cero murmured, “I missed you.” Throughout this whole conversation, that was what he reinforced the most…because it was what he had missed the most. His sister. His family. His life’s meaning. And right now, all three overlapped.

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Re: Changing Times ((Calla))

Post by Calla Torquatus on Sat Apr 05, 2014 9:10 pm

Now, Calla had never really been a touchy-feel-y person (except perhaps the apparent boy-toy at the time, years ago before she had started getting more selective with her taste in men, and well before the scandal with Primrose).  She wasn't upset with the hug until it was one second too long...which was when she dropped her arms again.  That was also when Cicero just had lifted her off of the ground.  She shrieked and first, pulling her legs up from her knees.  Again, Calla's arms went around her brother.

The legacy didn't have anything against heights or falling.  Frankly, she often made herself taller, just so she can look people in the eye, rather than up at them.  Looking down didn't bother her, but always looking up at people made her feel inferior.  So, really, there was nothing wrong with heights.  She would jump on people's backs (like her friend, Mia, who was more or less a half of a foot taller than Calla); so there was really no issue with being taller than her pitiful--but always used to her advantage--five-foot-three height.  If there was one disadvantage to being at Calla's height, and weight for that matter, it was that people would just go and pick her up.  She hated that so much that she couldn't even express her despising in words.  At least for the other things that she hated, she could describe her distaste for them.  This--just her little pet peeve--she could not put into words.  To be honest, she didn't even know why it bugged her so much.

No.  That was a lie.  She knew exactly why it bugged her.  Calla had an alpha-dog type of personality--and it certainly wasn't a surprise.  When someone would pick her up, it would make her feel like she wasn't top-dog.  She felt helpless, and feeling helpless was something that she mated more than anything she could think of.  She felt helpless when it came to the Greeks (she didn't before the attack, but as soon as it hit, there were plenty of things that made her feel helpless) and her father.  She felt weak.  Desolate.  Vulnerable.  It humiliated her--and Cicero should have known that.  For what ever godforsaken reason that he was possessed to pick her up, Calla didn't know.  She had protested continuously until she stopped when she realised that protesting wasn't going to do anything.  Cicero was a Torquatus, for God's sake.  She locked eyes with her brother, "If you don't put me down right now, I will kick you so hard that your leg will break."

Of course, she wasn't actually going to break his leg--she could but she wouldn't do that to her brother.  Anyone else?  In a heartbeat...expect, perhaps, her best friends...unless they were being stupid, like forcing her into something that she didn't want to do.  Then, that would be their fault--not hers.

"I missed you, too," she said, sincerely.  "Now, I sear to God, I will hurt you if you dno't put me down in the next five seconds," her tone completely changed.  "Five...four...three...two..."  Each number got progressively slower and longer in duration.  She wasn't kidding.  There would be bruises if he didn't let her down.

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Re: Changing Times ((Calla))

Post by Guest on Sat Apr 19, 2014 11:27 am

Well, if there was one thing Cero could be sure of in these turbulent times….Calla was still Calla, and she hadn’t changed as much as she thought she had. Cicero, after years of trial and error, had started to figure out some of his sister’s moods and peeves, and he had (for the most part) done his best to avoid them. Calla hated being upstaged, she hated being told ‘no’ and she absolutely hated feeling inferior to other people in any way at all. Having grown up with Calla, Cicero knew all of this, and he knew he was playing jump-rope with the line between her indulging him and her exploding.

But Cero, growing up in the household he grew up in, never really backed down once an idea implanted itself in his head. Calla had made him highly uncomfortable, demanding a hug. It was way out of Cero’s comfort zone, and not something he’d do willingly, considering his aversion to them since the old camp’s destruction. But Calla had a way of asking without really asking, and Cicero supposed she wasn’t too far out of line with her “request.” So if he was going to comply, he was doing it his way. Calla should know better than to assume anything different of the boy.

Curious on how long Calla would let him pick her up (oh, things would be so different now that Cicero had hit his full height), Cero didn’t drop her at her first warning, instead choosing to hide his small smile so she couldn’t see. As a Roman, Cicero was taught to follow orders. As a Torquatus…Cicero knew he could bend them a little before risking breaking one. “As violent as ever,” Cicero murmured, finally deciding to indulge his sister and put her down. Thankfully, she hadn’t reached the end of her countdown, Cero knew there was nothing good following the number one. The boy gingerly put Calla down, stepping away slightly in case Calla decided to throw a kick in there anyway. One could never really be sure what his older sister was about to do, and Cicero wanted his legs intact (besides, it wasn’t like she could easily reach his head).

Cicero gave Calla a small, sheepish smile, sticking his hands nervously in his pockets. It was probably the most emotion Cero had shown in Camp so far, minus his little meltdown earlier, but it felt nice not having to hide anything he felt. It made him feel safer (or however safe one could feel around an annoyed legacy of war). “Not much has changed.” That was a simple statement Cero felt almost happy about considering. Cicero usually did his best to bug Calla, and the girl always got back at him. It was easier when they were younger for her, when Cero was much more compliant and desperate for time with Calla…but he supposed she still had authority over him (both literally and metaphorically). And as much as he resented always having to do what Calla told him to, it was a small relief to think that some things just hadn’t changed. That there was something Cicero could count on when everything else has fallen apart and left him. Calla was that, he supposed, and he hoped that wasn’t changing anytime soon.

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