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 He ain't heavy [TW], Tag: Julian/Emmie
Theo Greenheart
 Posted on: Feb 4 2018, 07:34 AM
Quote
I'm not myself I'm a replica of me
25
D7 Victor/Mentor
Posts: 120
Livvyowl
Rep: 7 pts


user posted image

Don't get too close it's dark inside, it's where my demons hide.


Like so many other times Theo woke in a panic, it wasn't as bad as some days he hadn't screamed and thankfully he hadn't woken any of his other family members. He wanted to stop doing that, to stop waking them with his screams and worry them. Not that it was something he had any control over when he was asleep. He'd gotten better at handling his panic when awake. Not that it wasn't there pretty frequently still, but at least he managed to keep a calm exterior most of the time.

Waking up like this didn't help though, and for a moment he curled up into a ball, silent tears streaming down his face. Once the worst of it had calmed down he quietly headed to get cleaned up, wiping his face and using a wash cloth to prepare himself for the day. It was still really early in the morning, the sun wasn't even up, but he knew he wasn't going to be able to sleep again. He didn't want to sleep again either.

His fear of sleeping hadn't disappeared through the years, though it had eased some. Whenever he woke from a nightmare that was usually it for that day. It was impossible to force himself to tall asleep once more after that. So as soon as he was finished he dressed in some of his old pants and a dark blue sweater before sneaking out of the house.

The woods seemed like his best plan for now and he headed for it, wandering for a while before he realized his feet had lead him to the tree house. They'd kept the old house and the tree house was still there. It had been added to by the years and was now quite the formidable building.

After climbing onto it he then proceeded to grab one of the blankets from inside and head up to the top of the roof, laying down on his back there and staring up at the sky. They'd cut some branches off to clear some way for viewing the sky from there, and he liked the stars.

Time passed and he had no idea how long he'd been there, the sky lightened and the sky turned into a rainbow of pink, orange, purple and gold. It was pretty and he found himself keeping his eyes open even though his whole body begged for him to sleep some more. It wasn't going to happen though if he could help it.

Even though he was wrapped up in his own mind and the moment he heard someone climbing up into the tree house. There were only a few people it could be and as the little hatch at the top of the house opened he looked over and offered Julian a small smile. "Hey" he said quietly and patted the blanket next to him. "Hope I didn't wake anyone when I left this morning?" he asked, but he knew he hadn't because if he'd done so Julian likely would have been there sooner.

@Julian Greenheart
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Julian Greenheart
 Posted on: Feb 4 2018, 01:19 PM
Quote
Don't Let Me Go
18
Woodworker
Posts: 27
Emmie
District Seven
Rep: 2 pts


Julian was walking through the forest as he had done so many times in his life, but this felt different. It felt colder, darker than he ever remembered it. Like there was a thick, damp fog settled among the trees and it only seemed to get worse the deeper in he walked. There was a very eerie sense to the scenery around him, but he kept walking. Where was he going though? Where were his feet taking him? It was as if he this were all a dream and he had no control over what he was doing.

"Julian! Oh Jules! Come find me!" The voice of a girl rang through the forest. Not just any girl. It was Martha. Speaking in the same sing song, teasing sort of voice she always used when she was trying to give him a small hint to where she was when they were playing hide and seek. A smile stretched across his face as he took off at a run toward the sound of her voice. It was like he immediately slipped back into that carefree childish state.

He ran through the forest, expertly jumping over fallen logs and low brush, pushing branches out of his way. The smile faded and he briefly paused, his heart sinking as a scream rang through the air this time. That scream. "Martha!" he yelled, taking off at an even faster sprint toward where it was coming from. He did a dead stop though as he came to the clearing where her body lay in blood.

Julian's eyes popped open and he released his tight grip on the blanket that was tangled around his body. It took him a moment to realize he was back in his own bed. Not out in the foggy forest, despite how damp and chilled he felt from the sweat that covered his skin. He pushed himself to sit up, brushing his fingers through his hair to stop it from sticking to his forehead.

Eventually he managed to get himself all the way out of bed. He grabbed clean clothes and headed for the bathroom, taking a fast shower to try and make himself feel better. If anything he would at least smell better after it. He got himself dried off and dressed and fixed his hair by ruffling it with his fingers a bit before he headed for Theo's room to see if he wanted to go do something. Anything really to take his mind off things. He wasn't there though.

It was still early...where would he be? Maybe downstairs. He made his way down the stairs at that. "Theo?" he asked, waiting for an answer, but none came. He must have not been able to sleep again..but Julian knew exactly where to check for him next. He went outside quietly, trying to let their parents sleep longer, and began his walk to the tree house back near the old house. The house they had lived in before everything went to hell.

He climbed up into the treehouse and immediately opened the top hatch that would go to the roof. He was greeted by his brother and a sense of relief flooded over him that he was there. He couldn't help that he had been getting worried that maybe Theo had just disappeared. Julian knew that he wanted to disappear sometimes, so why wouldn't Theo?

"You didn't." Julian assured him, grabbing a second blanket before he climbed up. He wrapped the one around himself before he laid down beside his brother on the blanket he already had spread out. Julian was basically eternally cold unless it was a blazing summer day. "Mom and dad were still sleeping when I left too." he added.

He yawned a bit, staring up at the sky above them. This was a spot he had really enjoyed as well. It was peaceful. "How long have you been up?" he asked, concern in his voice. He couldn't help it.
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Theo Greenheart
 Posted on: Feb 4 2018, 01:41 PM
Quote
I'm not myself I'm a replica of me
25
D7 Victor/Mentor
Posts: 120
Livvyowl
Rep: 7 pts


user posted image

Don't get too close it's dark inside, it's where my demons hide.


The sky was lighter than he'd realized it was going to be by the time he'd heard Julian down in the tree house. Soon enough the familiar head popped up out of the hatch that lead up to the roof he was laying on. Even if he'd gone here to be alone it was always good to see his little brother's face. Julian meant the world to Theo. In fact he was the one person in the world Theo knew 100% he could trust. He trusted his parents too, but if it came down to it Julian was the one he would go to any time.

"Good, I tried not to make too much noise when I left." he stated as Julian disappeared back down for a second before emerging with another blanket. Then as he was joined on the ground he looked carefully at his brother. He had seen signs lately that his brother wasn't doing as well as he'd originally thought. Now that he was slowly getting a slightly better grip on himself it was easier to pay closer attention to others. There was something in Julian's eyes that made him want to protect him.

Suddenly he was overcome by an insane need to protect his brother, so much so his hands turned into fists without him even noticing. His voice was even though as he spoke next. "Good, they deserve to sleep in, heaven knows I've kept them awake enough through the last few years." He felt so guilty for the extra weight he was putting on his family with the panic attacks and the nightmares he kept waking up screaming from. Guilt was an almost constant weight on Theo's shoulders, guilt for putting his family through what he had, guilt for not being able to save Martha, guilt for all the kids he'd killed, for the tributes he had been unable to help make it through and guilt for simply being alive when so many others were not.

However, how wasn't the time to think about that. Now was the time to focus on Julian, but before he had a chance to say anything more his kid brother asked how long he had been up. He knew the kid was worried about him, and he knew he couldn't do much to relieve that worry. He shrugged slightly and looked up at the sky for a moment. "I honestly don't know, it was still dark outside." he admitted and now it was almost fully day. So clearly it must have been a few hours.

After a moment he turned his eyes back at Julian. "Hey... what's going on kiddo, and don't tell me you're fine. I know you remember?" he asked seriously. "I know you worry about me, but I want you to know I'm still your big brother alright?
You can still talk to me, I won't break if you tell me what's going on with you."
He said t his and moved so he could wrap his little brother up into a tight hug.

@Julian Greenheart
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Julian Greenheart
 Posted on: Feb 4 2018, 02:15 PM
Quote
Don't Let Me Go
18
Woodworker
Posts: 27
Emmie
District Seven
Rep: 2 pts


Julian dropped his gaze down when he realized that Theo was looking at him in a way that made him incredibly uncomfortable. He had done so well hiding everything for years and it felt like Theo was finally catching on. It was complicated when he really wanted to talk to Theo about everything, but he knew that he could not. No matter what he said. He could not let himself break in front of him. He wasn't going to place any more guilt onto his older brother's shoulder. It wasn't fair to do to him. Not after everything he'd been through and done for him.

"Don't feel so bad about it. I used to feel bad when I'd wake mom and dad up at night or keep them up with me. I think it kind of comes with the job of being a parent though...at least that's what mom said. We will always be their babies." Julian shrugged a bit as if it wasn't a big deal. Sure, he hadn't woke his parents up nearly as often, generally just when he wasn't feeling well. A lot of the time if he'd had a nightmare Theo was the one he went to. He'd crawl into his older brother's bed and sleep there the rest of the night. He always felt safe when Theo was around. Even now.

He nodded a bit when he said he'd been up since before the sun even came up. "I would have gotten up with you." he commented. He knew that Theo hadn't wanted to wake him. Maybe he had wanted to be alone, but he also probably hadn't wanted to feel guilty for waking him. Little did he know it would have saved Julian from his own nightmares. It would have saved him from panicking when he realized that Theo wasn't home as well.

Suddenly the tables turned and Theo was questioning him. He frowned and looked away. He was going to say he was fine. As he had done for years now, but Theo saw had finally saw through all that and he wanted the honest answer. He wasn't going to take that anymore. The problem was...Julian couldn't believe him when he said that he wouldn't break. How could he not break if he found out how Julian had been feeling? That he felt guilty for his brother going into the games in his place. Felt guilty about what it had done to him. For being selfish and wanting him and Martha back and being upset about it when they were being thrown into actual hell. That Martha's death, while it wasn't Theo's fault, still haunted his dreams. His brother would surely feel guilty there too. He couldn't trust that he wouldn't break if he explained how broken he was.

Julian playfully rolled his eyes. "When are you going to stop calling me kiddo? I'm not a kid anymore...I'm 18, almost 19. That makes me an adult." Julian pointed out before he diverted his gaze away from him again. "I just had a bad dream and wasn't feeling myself when I woke up this morning. It's nothing. Really, Theo. I'm alright. I just need to shake it off and I'll be good." Julian said quietly, playing it as if he thought he was only talking about today. Maybe he was. Maybe he hadn't noticed anything more. "You know me and my crazy imagination." he added with a bit of a grin. He did allow for the hug to happen without protest though, shifting himself closer before burying his face against his brother as he'd done since he was a kid.
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Theo Greenheart
 Posted on: Feb 4 2018, 02:38 PM
Quote
I'm not myself I'm a replica of me
25
D7 Victor/Mentor
Posts: 120
Livvyowl
Rep: 7 pts


user posted image

Don't get too close it's dark inside, it's where my demons hide.


The way Julian avoided his eyes was telling enough in and of itself. His little brother usually had no problem looking at him when they were talking unless there was something he didn't want Theo to know. This time around he wasn't willing to let it drop. Julian had been there for him so much during the last seven years. Any time they were both in the same place and Theo had nightmare or a panic attack his brother had been there to help him through it. Even when they weren't in the same place Julian had helped him through it by the bracelet he'd made him. All the little details reminding him how he had someone who cared, of how he was safe and there were people he loved around and who loved him that made it worth being alive. Even with the nightmares, guilt and anxiety.

"I don't think I'll ever not feel bad about keeping you guys awake or worrying any of you" he mused, though his little brother's words did help a little. It was true, they were probably always going to be their parents' babies, even when they were well past adults. Theo felt ancient these days. He felt way beyond his 25 years of age and sometimes when he thought back to the boy he'd used to be before the games he thought it was a whole lifetime ago. Not merely seven years.

"I know you would have kiddo. I know you would have, but just because I can't seem to sleep most of the time that doesn't mean you shouldn't be allowed to get a full night of sleep every once in a while." he stated and offered up a small smile as he looked closely at his brother once more. There was definitely something there this morning. Something that Theo wished wasn't. What was wrong? He knew that things had been tough for Jules as well when he'd been in the games, and he could understand that it must have been hard to see him and Martha, especially Martha on the TV like that.

Had he missed all these signs that his brother wasn't doing so well for all these years? Had he been so wrapped up in his own troubles and his own mind that he'd become blind to the one person he had wanted to protect his whole life? Chances were that this was exactly what had happened and that he had missed the signs of how badly this had affected Julian. His heart ached as he realized the truth of what he was seeing and had clearly missed before.

When the kid rolled his eyes and tried to divert his attention with the nickname he used for him by saying he was an adult now Theo's heart broke even further. "Just like we'll always be our parents' babies you'll always be my kid brother and I can't see myself not calling you Kiddo any time soon" he stated, indulging his brother in a quick respite from the topic he was now set on getting to the bottom of.

A bad dream. Theo knew all too well about bad dreams. Knew all too well how terrifying and down right sickening they could be. He rarely talked about his own, didn't want to put the images in his own head in Jules' as well. "I'm not talking about just today." he stated calmly as he hugged his brother a little closer, closing his eyes as he felt the kid put bury his face against him the way he'd used to when they were kids. Before the world had decided they deserved a cruel fate.

"I know you're worried I can't handle listening to you Jules." he continued quietly, using his real nickname this time to show he was being serious about this. "I know you feel you have to protect me now, but I'm still the big brother here and even though I have my own issues I am more than capable of listening to yours." he insisted again as he gently reached up to stroke his brother's hair. "And if you think I can't handle the worry, or whatever other emotions you think it might bring out in me. I want you to know I already worry. It's too late for that. As for anything else, you're my kid brother, there's nothing you can ever say or do that will change that or change how much I love you alright? Nothing. It doesn't matter what it is. You used to talk to me about everything." his voice got a little thick with emotion. "It makes me really sad that it is no longer the case.

@Julian Greenheart
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Julian Greenheart
 Posted on: Feb 4 2018, 04:50 PM
Quote
Don't Let Me Go
18
Woodworker
Posts: 27
Emmie
District Seven
Rep: 2 pts


Julian shrugged a bit at that. "It doesn't bother me any, honestly." he said in response to getting up at night or early with his brother. It wasn't like he was getting good sleep anyway and helping his older brother with his problems was a distraction from his own. It was a reason to keep pushing his own issues to the side and not having to admit them to anyone else. It was in ways easier that way because, like Theo, he didn't want to burden his family with them. "So seriously, don't ever feel bad about waking me up. I mean, I used to wake you up when I was little and couldn't sleep." he pointed out. He was just returning the favor now.

His brother was realizing far too much about how he had been feeling and it was terrifying. He could see it in the way that Theo looked at him now. He was worried about him already and he wasn't sure what was worse. The worry he had for him before he even knew what was going through his head or the way he would likely feel once he knew the truth.

There was a small smile on his face when Theo told him that he would always be his kid brother. There was something that was actually very comforting about that, despite how he felt he'd needed to grow up more and play the role of the stronger brother for a little bit. He liked being the younger brother. To be able to look up to Theo and to lean on Theo. He just, was afraid he was too fragile for that now.

Though he didn't feel like he was going to be able to keep things from him any longer with the way he was talking. He had noticed something wrong with him besides just this morning, despite what Julian had been hoping. How did he explain it to him though? How did he explain how much he had broken and what if he broke more too and then they were both just a mess? What then? Who was going to be there to help them both?

He called him Jules and he immediately knew that there was no way to joke his way out of this. He stayed quiet the whole while that Theo was talking to him, but he was breaking down more and more with each thing his brother said. He wasn't even sure at what point it all happened, but there were tears falling down his cheeks and dampening Theo's shirt where he still had his face buried into while Theo stroked his hair. It was one of the most comforting things to Julian and it had been since he was very, very young. It was something that hadn't changed with everything else.

He had his hands balled up in fists, tightly clutching his shirt as well. As if he were afraid if he let go then one of them would crumble into dust. As if the connection was the only thing holding the two of them together. It was happening again. The feeling of the weight of everything crushing him. Making it hard to breathe, to see, to think. To do anything. He was shaking and for what felt like the longest time he couldn't move and he just stayed nestled into his brother where he felt safe and warm.

Theo's admission that he was sad that Julian felt he couldn't talk to him anymore had really gotten to him. He had been keeping things from Theo to protect him and now it was just worrying his brother more, but he still didn't know how to explain everything that had been happening with him since the reaping. He didn't know how to explain how broken and lost he felt.

"You should have just let me go." Julian said between gasps for air. "Why didn't you just let me go?" he whimpered the words and buried his face back into him again at that, crying harder now. The words had been what came out the moment he managed to speak. They surprised even him. He knew he wouldn't have survived the arena. He knew that Theo was home now and so everything had worked out, but had it really? Theo was broken and it was entirely his fault. Maybe if he'd gone then Theo would have been okay. He would be the old Theo still and he would have gotten over losing Julian. Maybe him and Jessica would still be together and happy.
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Theo Greenheart
 Posted on: Feb 4 2018, 05:21 PM
Quote
I'm not myself I'm a replica of me
25
D7 Victor/Mentor
Posts: 120
Livvyowl
Rep: 7 pts


user posted image

Don't get too close it's dark inside, it's where my demons hide.


Theo smiled a little as Julian said it didn't bother him to wake up in the middle of the night or early morning to spend time with him. He loved his brother so much and he knew that if the roles were reversed he wouldn't have minded if Julian was the one to wake him up. He never had when they were kids as Julian pointed out. "Alright Kiddo, I'll make sure to remember that for next time alright? As long as you're absolutely sure you'd rather have me waking you up." Sometimes he did want to be alone, but mostly he'd wanted to not wake anyone up and burden them further with his fucked up mental state after the games. It had been enough, he had done so countless times over the last seven years.

It wasn't that hard to tell something was going on with Julian, especially with the slightly worried look that entered his face when he seemed to realize Theo knew something was up. When he felt his brother start shaking he just hugged him closer and continued to stroke his hair. He kept himself calm, this was Julian's time to take comfort in him, he could manage to stay strong when his kid brother needed him. There was nothing that mattered more than being there when he was needed for the younger boy.

It seemed he had definitely touched some sort of a nerve with his words, and he knew he probably would when he said them, but it was so important to him that Julian knew how much it truly meant to him for them to still be able to talk to one another, for them to still be close and trust that they could talk with the other. He'd talked to Julian about a lot more than he had anyone else since his games, with maybe the exception of Zinaya because well she had been his mentor, and had been through the games herself. She'd seen him go through his. It was just a little different. There was nothing to hide there, nothing she hadn't already seen or heard.

Maybe he thought to himself as he held his crying brother, it was time that he too trusted in Julian enough to handle everything, to listen to even the worst of thoughts and moments. Maybe if he did, Julian would know it was ok to do the same? It was something to consider for sure."I love you Jules." he whispered, several times while he let his brother cry, let him try to calm down enough to speak. He knew that right this moment there probably wasn't going to be talking. He knew from experience that once you were trapped like that nothing would come out until the worst of it had passed.

When the boy finally spoke up and said he should have let him go and proceeded to ask why he hadn't he shook his head and just hugged him that little bit closer. "Is that it? Or part of it?" he asked gently and shook his head against his brother's. "Oh Jules... you really think I would have been any better today if I'd let you go in there? You and Martha? Together" he shook his head again and let out a small sigh.

"I wouldn't have been Jules. From you were a baby you've been the most important person in my life. I heard your name called and honestly I didn't even know I'd volunteered until I was on that stage. it was a reflex, a dire, instinctual need to protect you. I won't lie. The games were a nightmare, still are a nightmare most nights, but never once. Never, not during the games and not now have I regretted taking your place. I would do it again in a heartbeat if I thought you'd be safe." It was the truth, and now tears were rolling down his own cheeks.

"I know you would never have asked it of me, and I know it was hard to watch me in the games, to watch Martha in that first day. I know you must miss her terribly. I'm so sorry I couldn't protect her, that I couldn't get her through to the end and send her back to you." he whispered, but he hadn't been able to, she'd been too far gone by the time he even reached her. "But please, not for one second thing I would have been better off sending you in there, losing you in there. You're a strong kid, if you'd been the age you are now I'm sure you would have had as good a chance as any, but you were only 12. I couldn't send you in there to die Jules. I just couldn't. I'm sorry."

@Julian Greenheart
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Julian Greenheart
 Posted on: Feb 4 2018, 11:25 PM
Quote
Don't Let Me Go
18
Woodworker
Posts: 27
Emmie
District Seven
Rep: 2 pts


Maybe Julian had been wrong in thinking that Theo couldn't handle hearing his problems and everything he had been facing. Maybe it was just in their nature to want to look out for each other no matter what shit they were facing in their own lives. He knew that Theo had always loved him and wanted to protect him. He had always appreciated that. Always knowing he had his brother looking out for him had been so helpful when he was a young boy. It was like life had blessed him with a built in best friend that he thought would always be by his side.

Martha had been an added bonus in all of it. She had come later in his life and he had always thought she would be there for a long time. No matter what she said or the healers said or the other kids at school said. She was going to be with him forever, just like Theo. Then in a heartbeat he had them both ripped away from him and he was terrified they would both be gone for good. Theo was brought back to him...incredibly broken, but he was still here. Martha was gone for good and to this day it still hurt to even hear her name.

He had known so quickly that he had lost her and then...he'd had to wait days to see if Theo could get home to him or not. He'd watched him shed so much blood and it was a side of his brother that had terrified him. That was when the panic attacks and anxiety had really began, though they became so much worse over the years in that the smallest things or seemingly nothing could trigger them. He felt like he was barely living anymore.

He even struggled to allow himself to be close to the boy who had learned of his struggles first. Who helped him as much as he could and he returned the favor for. How long would he stay if he let him in more? How long before he was ripped away too? He wasn't sure he could handle anything like it again. That was why when his brother was no where to be found he had immediately gotten scared. Scared that he would find him with his wrists slit in the workshop...or hanging from the tree house tree. It wasn't like Theo had even given him a clear reason to think that, but...they were just things that a small part of him had thought of as an escape too.

Julian let Theo speak after he had finally managed to ask his two questions. He was still struggling to get the right words for what he wanted to say. There was just so much he wanted...needed...to say to him. He couldn't honestly say that was all of it and he wasn't willing to say that it was just part of it either. He just shook his head a bit. "No..." he mumbled. He looked up at him, tears clouded his vision, but he still looked at his brother. So much sadness and pain in his teary eyes that he had been masking for so many years.

"Stop talking about her...Stop saying her name. Stop acting like it's your fault she is dead." The words came out a bit more snappy than he had meant, but he couldn't seem to control anything right now. He just knew that he couldn't listen to Theo talking about Martha going into the games. About what had happened to her. How he wanted to, but couldn't save her. It wasn't his fault and he hated when Theo said things that made him feel like Theo should have been able to do something for her. That he should have tried harder because he thought he could protect her. Making him feel guilty for being thankful that Theo was the one who came home to him despite how much he had liked Martha.

He shook his head and looked down, trying to put just the tiniest amount of separation between the two of them by backing out of the hug. He didn't put too much distance between them. He didn't want to be entirely away from Theo, but he just needed a little space. "I don't think you would have been alright if I had gone in there. But you'd be different. Maybe you could have moved on and be happy with Jessica. You should have let me go because then I wouldn't be here. I wouldn't feel like this..."

The words were hard to say. To admit just how deep he had sunk. To a point where he wished he had died in the arena with Martha. To go to wherever it was that she had seen in her dream because it sure sounded a lot better than being here, shattered into a million pieces that would never be able to all be glued back together. "I'd be better off if you'd just let me go!" He looked back up to him, more tears falling down his own cheeks.

Julian pulled the blanket that was wrapped around him over his head to hide from Theo as he began to cry harder. Even now he still didn't want Theo to see how broken he was. How much he had been keeping from Theo for so long because he was so afraid of ruining him. Had he gone into the arena he wouldn't have wanted to come out. Not to deal with everything Theo had been dealing with.
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Theo Greenheart
 Posted on: Feb 5 2018, 04:26 AM
Quote
I'm not myself I'm a replica of me
25
D7 Victor/Mentor
Posts: 120
Livvyowl
Rep: 7 pts


user posted image

Don't get too close it's dark inside, it's where my demons hide.


It hurt his heart terribly to see Julian so upset. He'd had a growing suspicion that his brother was hiding how he was really doing the better he'd gotten himself, but to get it confirmed and to see how much his brother was and had been hurting was painful to say the least. Of course he hadn't been naive enough to think him volunteering for his brother wasn't going to affect the other boy. Of course it would, and of course he'd known it would be painful for Julian to watch him go through what he'd gone through in the games. Maybe he should open up more about that. Talk to him about what it had been like more. He had been a little closed off about that himself. He'd wanted to protect his younger brother from it, but maybe it had been the wrong move. Maybe being silent about it and not explaining some of the things that had gone on in there had done more harm than good.

When Julian practically yelled at him not to talk about Martha and not to act like it was his fault he froze for a moment. Then he felt his own heart break even more. The fact that it was followed by Julian pulling out of the hug and away from him didn't help, but he forced his own tears to stop and wiped at his face before Julian could pull back fully. He took a deep breath to make sure his own voice would be steady as he once more prepared himself to speak but he stopped, and just looked at his little brother. He didn't want to interrupt him now that he'd started talking no matter how much the words tore at his heart. It felt like someone was putting his heart through a shredder as he watched his brother break further and he realized that was probably how Julian must feel every time he himself had a meltdown.

Once Julian was done talking and had wrapped the blanket over his head all Theo could do was sit there for a bit, trying to sort through the things he wanted to say and where to start. Clearly Julian felt guilty over him taking his place, and torn up about Martha as well as for him ending up losing Jessica over it. Where did he start. None of this was Julian's fault and he found himself wanting to make him understand that. He also knew it wasn't going to be that easy, because nothing he said would ease the guilt. Nothing anyone ever told him eased his own guilt, even if the logical part of his brain knew it wasn't truly his fault. None of it was.

"I know nothing I say is truly going to ease your feeling of guilt, about me going in, about ... her..., about me and Jessica. I'm going to say it anyway" he said quietly before he moved to once more wrap his arms around his younger brother even though he was terrified he was just going to pull away again. "Going into the games, I knew I wouldn't come out the same, in fact I didn't expect to be coming out at all. I knew I'd experience things there that would haunt me probably for the rest of my life if I went. Not once did I doubt the correctness of my decision." He sighed and closed his eyes for a moment trying his best to keep himself together.

Talking about the games, and emotions around them and his brother would usually push him over the edge, but he was determined not to let it get to him. Not now, not when Julian clearly needed him for a change. Maybe Julian had needed him this whole time and he just hadn't seen him. The thought almost had him crying again but he blinked away the tears. He knew the truth of that. Julian had needed him and he had failed to see it in his own darkness. No more. He promised himself to never let that happen ever again.

"I'm sorry you feel that way, I'm sorry you have gotten to the point of wishing you'd been allowed to die instead of living like this. I should have seen it. I should have been here for you more. Before you tell me this is why you didn't want to talk to me about this, don't. I know you didn't want to talk to me because you thought I had enough on my plate, but Julian I will never have too much on my plate to be here when you need me. Never. You might regret me taking your place. I don't. Not for a second."

Again he sighed and took a deep breath. "As far as Jessica and I are concerned, I don't want you to feel like that is your fault. She couldn't handle it when things got rough, and I promise you I would have woken up screaming with nightmares if I'd not taken your place too. I couldn't imagine living in a world with you not in it Jules. Not for a second. I saw a brief moment of that in my mind as I stood up there looking down at you in the crowd after the reaping. I wouldn't have handled it, I wouldn't have been better. I wouldn't have felt less guilt because if I hadn't taken your place I would have let my kid brother go off to die." his voice went thick for a moment even if he didn't want it to. At least he managed to keep the tears at bay. "If Jessica and I had been meant to be she wouldn't have left me after the games. True love, like our parents have, is supposed to last through the hard times, not break at the first sign of them." he insisted and he knew it to be true.

He had been so bitter about Jessica right as it had happened, but years later he was now at a point where he understood that the two of them were never meant to last. He missed her sometimes sure, but he knew that it wasn't the right thing for either of them now. She'd found someone new, and he? Well he was too broken to even start thinking about burdening someone with the mess that he was. "I firmly believe that there wouldn't have been a happy ending for Jessica and me no matter where this had gone or how it had turned out." There was no hesitation in his voice. No doubt what so ever.

Julian's last words kept ringing in his head. He'd be better off he'd just let him go. "I want you to know.." he whispered into Julian's ear as he hugged him close and stroked his hair and back just letting him cry. "That even knowing what I know now. Knowing how much the games were going to haunt me, I wouldn't have changed my choice. I wouldn't have chosen not to go instead of you. I wouldn't even have chosen to die in the arena instead of winning. Yes, it's hard, some days I admit I wish I wasn't still here, but Julian. Most days I am glad I'm here, with you, with our parents, even when I struggle. I'm glad to see any hint of a smile on your face and know you're still here. That we're both alive and safe."

For a moment he stopped and just held his brother. "But I am not angry or upset that you may be mad at me some days for not letting you go. I'm a little sad that you feel that way, but I would never be too upset over hearing your thoughts and feelings to handle hearing them. I'm not going to lie and say it doesn't hurt to hear you say you wish you were dead. I imagine it would hurt you just as much to know I feel that way sometimes, but that doesn't mean I won't be here to hear it, or will love you any less because of it." he knew he'd said a lot, and there were still so many things to be said, but he felt like they needed to be honest with one another if they were ever going to get any resemblance of what they had once had back.

@Julian Greenheart
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Julian Greenheart
 Posted on: Feb 5 2018, 01:33 PM
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Don't Let Me Go
18
Woodworker
Posts: 27
Emmie
District Seven
Rep: 2 pts


Julian had only pulled away from his brother because he had needed a moment of space. A moment to breath and not feel like he was trapped. It was annoying how something he found so comforting also made him feel trapped because of everything that felt like it was closing in on him. That's why he hadn't put too much distance between himself and Theo. Had he really wanted to get away he would have moved even farther over or maybe he would have even ran.

So when Theo pulled him into a hug again after giving him a moment to relax on his own he didn't fight him or try to pull away again. Instead he just pulled the blanket down and wrapped it tightly around his shoulders. He didn't cling to Theo this time. Instead he just laid his head against him and let Theo hold onto him while he spoke. He managed to at least calm his crying down to quiet little sniffles and occasional whimpers that he couldn't manage to stop.

He didn't interrupt his brother while he spoke. He clearly had a lot to say and at least some of it was soothing to him. Knowing that Theo didn't blame what had happened on him and Jessica not being together was one of those things. He'd never thought about it in the way that his brother was now laying it out to him, but he knew that he was right. If he and Jess were meant to be then they would have been no matter what happened with them. Just like their parents. "I just wanted you to be happy...Jess used to make you happy so I thought if you'd stayed, you'd still be with her and be happy." he said quietly when he had stopped talking. "I didn't think about it that way...You deserve someone who will love you no matter what." he added, looking up at him and managing a brief, but genuine smile.

Unfortunately it didn't stay on his face long. He buried his face against Theo again. So much had been said and he wasn't sure what to make of any of it. Theo cared and he wanted to be there for him no matter what was going on in his own life. A part of him had always known that would be the case, but the sadness he was causing his brother was exactly why he hadn't wanted to tell him to begin with. He just didn't know how to respond to any of it, other than to start telling him how he was feeling about things.

"It scared me when I realized you were gone this morning...I didn't know where you had gone or if I would find you dead or alive and if you were alive...how you would be." Julian admitted, closing his eyes. Even just thinking about it brought on that same heavy feeling in his chest and pit in his stomach. He nestled closer against Theo as if reminding himself that he was fine. He was there holding him. He was alive. He was fine. It freaked him out to even hear Theo admit that he had the same sorts of thoughts as Julian about wanting to leave, but it also made him feel far less alone.

"It was the same feeling I always had during the games. I was terrified that I was going to lose you. I can't lose you, Theo. I need you." Julian admitted, his voice cracking a bit like he was going to start crying harder again. He managed to take a moment and a deep breath to keep himself from completely breaking down again so that he could actually continue. He realized that the way he had been feeling about things was selfish in a way. "If I had gone into the arena then I wouldn't have had to worry about you. " he mumbled. Maybe it was a bit harsh as well to actually say it, but Theo wanted to know how he felt. Had he gone in and died, then he wouldn't have had to feel anything at all in the end. Theo going in meant he was terrified for his brother then and for years afterwards. It was selfish and Julian hated himself for feeling that way, but he had been so worn down that he couldn't help feeling that way.

He sighed a bit, playing with the frayed edge of the blanket that was wrapped around him. He was quiet as he did so for what seemed like forever, but he was just thinking about how he could say what he wanted to say. "I didn't mean to hurt you, Theo. I just wanted you to be okay and happy...and I am sorry I kept things from you...I didn't want to make it harder for you." he told him. "I just...I'm just sorry for everything."
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Theo Greenheart
 Posted on: Feb 5 2018, 03:56 PM
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I'm not myself I'm a replica of me
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D7 Victor/Mentor
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Don't get too close it's dark inside, it's where my demons hide.


Relief flooded through Theo when Julian didn't pull out of his arms when he pulled him back into the hug. He could feel his little brother calming down just a little bit as he held him and it warmed his heart to know he still had the ability to have that effect on the younger boy. After all, everything Theo had ever wanted was for Julian to be happy.

That was why it hurt even more to hear him say those words, to hear him say how he'd been so miserable and how he thought Theo would be better of if he hadn't gone in instead of his baby brother. Theo didn't think so, he didn't think he'd ever have been able to forgive himself if he'd sent Julian off to the games to die. If he hadn't acted when he had and he'd just stood there frozen in that moment. No it wouldn't have made him any better than he had been.

A tiny smile appeared on his face when Julian said what he was saying about Jessica made sense, and the smile grew a little bit as he also continued to say that he deserved to find someone who would love him no matter what. "Well you see, I already consider myself lucky in that department. I have you, and I have mom and dad. And none of you even once considered not loving me even with all my flaws." he said because he just wanted to make sure the boy knew he was already content with things, he didn't have to have a woman in his life to be happy.

When Julian buried his face against his chest again he just held him and stroked his hair and back, it was clear he wanted to say more, but he couldn't blame him for feeling a little overwhelmed. He felt a little overwhelmed himself by all of this, but they needed to talk things through. They needed it to get back what they'd once had, and Theo wanted nothing more than that.

Soon enough Julian started talking once more and he frowned as he told hjim about how worried he'd been when he hadn't found him in the house that morning, how he'd worried he'd find him dead or shattered beyond repair and his heart broke. "Oh Jules... I'm sorry I didn't realize you might think that. I promise if I ever again leave the house before you I'll leave a note ok? Let you know where I've gone. Even more I promise that if I don't feel the need to be alone I'll wake you. That sound alright?" he asked softly and closed his eyes while resting his own head on top of Julian's.

Then he proceeded to talk about how he'd felt that way during the games, terrified he was going to lose him. "You won't lose me Jules, you've got me here alright? I promise, even on the days I might feel like it would be better not to be around, I won't leave you. I won't go anywhere." Again there was no doubt in his voice as he made the promise, he meant it with all his heart. He would never do that to Julian and his parents. That was the reason he hadn't yet. He hadn't tried to end himself because he couldn't do that to them. Not when they'd gotten him back against all odds.

When he was apologized to he shook his head. "You have nothing to be sorry for kiddo" he said and reached over to ruffle his hair affectionately. "It's been hard on us all, and we've all maybe made some mistakes, but you know what? We can remedy that can't we? Be more open about it all from now? Both of us?" he asked and managed a small smile. "I promise, if you want to hear it, to be more open about how I really feel, what the nightmares are really about and not try to shelter you from all of that, if you promise the same to me." he offered and once more leaned his head against Julian's.

He took a deep breath. Julian had just confessed so much, maybe it was time for him to do the same. "I know.. you must have seen a side of me in the games that you didn't like. Hell I saw a side of me during the games that I didn't like. I never wanted to kill anyone. My original plan was to try to stay out of the killing and hide. When I was there though, I realized that the only way to get out of there, to come home to you would be to be ruthless. To be something I'm not proud of today." he admitted quietly.

His hands that were stroking Julian's hair was shaking a little, but he managed to keep his voice calm. "There was nothing more important to me in that moment than to make it out. To come home to you, to mom and dad. Nothing. I feel guilty every day for killing so many, but I never once expected my traps to be as effective as they were. They took out way more than I ever thought possible. I thought maybe one or two would go, but then so many..." he shook his head. "I know that I did things that were horrible, I see their faces every day, but I also know that if I had to I would do it all over again. Because guess what kiddo? Coming home to you guys would be worth it any time. It was them or me. It sounds brutal and it is, but in the end..." he lowered his voice to barely a whisper.

"I didn't do that to them, and you didn't do this to me, the real ones at fault for all this? The capitol. They're the one forcing kids to kill each other every year. None of the kids in there probably actually wants to kill anyone, I don't even think most careers want to. They've just been brought up to think it's the only way to earn their Districts respect. Which is horrible and sad. At least I knew you guys would still love me if I didn't come back." he sighed and tried not to get too angry. "Neither of us is to blame... they are."

@Julian Greenheart
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Julian Greenheart
 Posted on: Feb 5 2018, 11:37 PM
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Don't Let Me Go
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Posts: 27
Emmie
District Seven
Rep: 2 pts


No matter how old Julian got or how much he felt he had grown, he would never not want his brother to stop comforting him like this. He could tell himself that after a certain age it would be weird, others might judge him for it, but it he had a feeling that this would never change. His brother was the one person who could make him feel safe from anything and everything. Not even his parents could do that for him. He loved them, sure. He would seek them out for comfort, but he'd always go to Theo first because he did it best.

It was that, that made him killing in the arena to get home to him seem so...strange. Part of Julian had always thought that his brother would kill to keep him safe. To stay by his side and make sure he always had someone by him. Except whenever Julian had thought about it as a kid he always imagined Theo fighting the coat monster in his closet or the creepy tree creatures that lurked in the darkness of the deeper parts of the forest. Never had he thought that Theo would have to kill people, innocent children for him. He wasn't sure if that made him proud and thankful or if it just made him uncomfortable and scared of how deep Theo's love for him ran.

"You're my brother, Theo. There is nothing you could do that would make me not love you." He assured him, just letting Theo stroke his hair and rub his back still. He needed all the comfort he could get right now. Not even Theo having killed people or not having been able to save his best friend was enough for him to hate him. There wasn't even an ounce of hate in there. He was still sort of stuck in his own thoughts that had come up when Theo had spoke. He'd once again let him talk without interruption, which in general was a very Julian thing to do. He was sweet and well mannered and it would be rude to interrupt someone while they were speaking. Especially when it was something as important as what Theo was telling him.

"That would be good. Wake me or leave me a note, but please...If you don't want to be alone then let me come with you." He was begging a little bit and it didn't even have a ton to do with just wanting to be with his brother. It more had to do with the horrible dreams he'd been having. Theo would be saving him from them by waking him up and he'd have someone there until he managed to relax afterwards and shake the images out of his head. "I haven't been sleeping much anyway. You'd be doing me a favor." he assured him. He wasn't ready to talk about the dreams though.

He looked down though. "That's not true though, you know. I mean...I believe you won't leave me for good...I hope." he whispered. He new that neither of them honestly had control over that though. He'd thought about death far more than he wanted to and he was well aware that it was one of those unknowns in life. Probably the biggest and scariest one. It could happen at any moment and take one of the boys from the other. "But...you have to go to the Capitol during the games. That's like...two weeks without you." he said quietly.

It was two weeks that Julian always dreaded. It scared him not knowing how his brother was or if he was alright. It was hard not having him there as a distraction during the worst time. The games always brought everything rushing back. It made the memories painfully clear. He tried to avoid them as much as possible, but...it was hard to do when the Capitol wanted to make sure that people were watching. It was cruel and it was miserable and Theo wouldn't be with him for any of it. And it wasn't even like he could be mad at him for it because he wanted Theo to help the tributes each year. He wanted him to succeed and save someone. Not that he got upset when he didn't. His heart just broke for his brother.

He felt like he had cried himself out. No matter how miserable he still felt the tears had stopped, just leaving him with a stuffy nose, puffy eyes, and the start of a headache that would only get worse. Like it always did when he had allowed himself to break when no one was around to see or hear him. "I don't want you to shelter me." he said quietly, rubbing at his eyes a little as he spoke. "I don't want you to feel like you have to keep things from me or keep those things bottled up because I know how it feels. I know what that does to a person." It was exactly what he was doing to himself and it was horrible. It was crushing him in the slowest, painfullest way possible. "Don't keep things from me...and I won't keep things from you." He agreed. Unfortunately it wouldn't be as easy as it sounded. Julian still worried about what he was saying and how it was making Theo feel.

Julian also wasn't sure how much of what Theo was going to admit to him he was actually going to be able to handle. Though what he said already wasn't as bad as he thought it was going to be. In the end he would be able to bare it all though and maybe he would understand Theo more because of it. "I always knew you'd kill for me." he commented. "I mean...Until the game I thought that meant monsters, but..." he shrugged a bit. "What I saw you do was...scary and I side I never wanted to see, but...it actually didn't really surprise me."

He had already known in his heart that Theo had tried to minimize the amount of tributes he had to actually kill to get home. He knew that his brother was not a cold hearted killer and he would try the more humane way of getting through before murdering the others. "I'm glad you did it. That may sound really, really awful, but I am glad you did it and came home." he whispered. Had he lost Theo...he likely would have ended things himself a long time ago. It would have been like losing a part of himself.

The Capitol...his feelings about the Capitol were not pleasant and he didn't need to hear it from Theo that it was all their fault. That they were the ones who had caused all of this pain and suffering. "And you still have to serve them...and be on your best behavior for them." he mumbled bitterly. "What is it like there? What are the people like?" he asked him curiously. "Because they seem really fucked up to enjoy this." he added.
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Theo Greenheart
 Posted on: Feb 6 2018, 02:08 AM
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I'm not myself I'm a replica of me
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D7 Victor/Mentor
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Livvyowl
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Don't get too close it's dark inside, it's where my demons hide.


Theo loved being able to soothe his younger brother even when his younger brother was in such a state as he was right now. Theo could feel his own emotions wanting to boil to the surface but he refused to let them right now. It wasn't about him at this point, it was about Julian and making sure his little brother was going to be ok. Neither of them were ok of course, and neither of them probably would be for a while. He knew that, but it wasn't going to stop him from trying to make it as easy as possible for the kid. So he kept holding him and stroking his hair, and if anyone had a problem with that or ever made a comment that it was weird they would have to deal with it.

"I know Julues, just like there would be nothing in this world you could do to make me stop loving you either. I will admit there was a moment in the arena where I thought you might hate me for what I did, but my mind wasn't exactly calm and collected at the time. Reason sort of went out the window there, and part of me is glad it did. If it hadn't and if I hadn't been able to push away any reasoning not to do what I did to people in there I wouldn't be sitting here with you." he admitted. "I am glad my mind and body were able to kick into survival mode and not think too much about what I had to do for it at the time, if I had started thinking about it I wouldn't have been able to do it." He sighed and once more closed his eyes.

"Then I promise, that from now on, if I wake up early and I don't feel the need to be alone I'll wake you up, and if I do want to be alone for a bit I'll leave you a note to let you know and where I planned on going if I know myself. Sometimes my feet just take me places, like today." he admitted and offered up a weak smile. He couldn't manage a proper smile right now, there was too much heavy conversation going on and he was feeling too much emotion to manage a proper grin.

He frowned when Julian said he hadn't been sleeping well anyway and that he would be doing him a favor. "Do you think you'd sleep better in my room?" he asked gently. "My room is big enough, we could move your bed in there if you'd like. I mean I know you're grown now and you might not want to do that, but if you do I really wouldn't mind. Maybe it would help us both sleep better?" he suggested. It might be a weird thing to suggest to a 18 year old boy, but when they were younger Jules had always come into his room when he'd had a bad dream and maybe they could prevent some bad dreams now by sharing a room.

"You're right of course, I will have to go to the Capitol during the games, but I meant to say that I won't leave you permanently. You won't find me anywhere having taken my own life. That I can promise. Like I said before, there have been days where I've wanted to, but you know what gets me through every time? You. You and our parents. I could never leave you guys behind. Not after all we've all been through to be here now together." That was the truth of it. He'd been close a few times to considering it, close to wanting to end his own existence, but each and every time the image of Julian and their parents popped into his mind and he'd been unable to follow through. He was glad for that in the end. Bad days shouldn't define all the other days.

"I know you hate those weeks as much as I do, but I promise you I've got people looking out for me there too. I've got Zinaya watching my back, like she did in the games, and I've got some other good friends too while there. Friends I can turn to when things get rough. They're not as good as you of course, but they help. he smiled a little and looked him over. "I'm not going to pretend it's easy going back there every year, with two kids much like I was myself back then that will go in and probably not come out. It's really rough having to get to know them if I didn't already and then to have them not make it. But I do what I can, because I know it is important for them to learn what I know, to have someone there who cares about them. Genuinely cares and not someone who's just in it to win it. I guess it makes things harder for myself, but I can't help it. I won't let them go into the arena feeling like no one cares." He frowned as he realized how he'd gone on a small rant about it.

"It's a promise. I won't keep things from you." he stated and he hoped that Jules would actually do the same now that they'd talked about it. "I know kiddo, bottling things up does no good, I know because I've been doing it too. Maybe not as much as you have, but there are definitely things I haven't talked about, things no one has heard of the things going on in the darker corners of my mind." he sighed and hugged Julian closer because he really just needed to for his own sake. He needed to feel his little brother in his arms and know they were both safe and sound.

"I always intended to try to come home to you, no matter what I had to do to get there. I don't think it sounds awful for you to say you're glad I did it, because even though I constantly feel guilty over the lives I took and the things I did in there... I would never choose any different today if I had to. I am glad I did it too. I am glad I survived. It makes me feel like a horrible person to say it, but it's true. His voice shook slightly as he admitted to these things. He was so sure that the things he was doing was what he'd had to, but he still also felt so guilty for taking all those lives, for ruining the possibility that their loved one would come home to them for so many other families.

The topic shifted a little as Julian asked about the Capitol and Theo embraced it, it was a lighter topic in a way. "As much as I hate serving the Capitol and doing what they want the place isn't all bad. So there's definitely one thing that's awesome, the food. They have the most amazing things you couldn't even imagine. I was pretty shocked by some of it when I first got there. Things are... comfortable there. Item wise, the beds are soft, the apartments always warm, the showers... well don't even get me started on those, they're pretty great. They can also make you smell like flowers, which was weird when I first did it by accident." he managed a small chuckle at the memory. It had been a super dark time in his life, but the flower smelling thing had made him laugh even then.

"As for the people...It's complicated. They're definitely not all bad people, even the ones who enjoy the games. What you have to understand about the Capitol is that most of them have never seen true struggles. Never gone hungry at night, never been afraid for their lives. Most of them have been told from a really young age what a good thing the games are, how they are the only way to keep the peace. A lot of them are brainwashed. Then there are the ones who don't care for the games. You can see it in their eyes. They'll be in the crowds, sometimes even in the viewing rooms to give donations. You can see they hate what is being done to these kids and that is their way of helping. They know that they can't stop it, so they donate to help at least one of the poor lost souls." he rubbed a hand over his face for a moment. "I'm not saying you don't have those who genuinely relish in the games and the pain they cause, but most of the time I think it's just a matter of ignorance or to some the unwillingness to let it get to them because they know they couldn't handle it if they did."

@Julian Greenheart
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Julian Greenheart
 Posted on: Feb 6 2018, 05:57 PM
Quote
Don't Let Me Go
18
Woodworker
Posts: 27
Emmie
District Seven
Rep: 2 pts


Julian wasn't sure what it was...if he could hear it in Theo's voice, feel it in the way he held him, or just overall sense it from his brother, but he was starting to feel more of how bad Theo was feeling about things again as opposed to being focused on feeling horrible himself. It was just natural now for him to divert his focus to his big brother and away from how he was feeling himself.

He shook his head some. "Theo, you could try to kill me and I still wouldn't be capable of hating you." he commented, saying it only to make a point and not because he ever thought Theo would try to do such a thing. He was glad that Theo had been able to focus on getting home and not on what he was doing to get there in the arena. He imagined that if he'd allowed himself to break down like he had after the games, each time he killed someone, then he surely would have died quickly. Then Jules would have been very alone.

He wasn't sure that he would have been able to do the same in that situation. Then again, he was sure when your life was actually in danger everything changed and maybe he would have been able to kill. He had just been so much younger and would have been at even more of a disadvantage. Thankfully he'd never have to find out. He'd gotten through his last reaping without his name being called and he'd be 19 by the time the next rolled around. What a nightmare it would have been if his name had been picked again.

"This was the first place I thought to look when you weren't in the house...so I am glad this is where you came. I wouldn't have known where to look otherwise." Julian said quietly. So much relief had flooded through him as soon as he heard Theo great him when he opened the hatch to the roof. Then his brother was proposing an idea to fix his and maybe both of their sleeping issues.

Julian was eighteen, almost nineteen, grown as Theo had pointed out. Yet, he nearly immediately told him what a great idea it was, but he tried to hold back slightly. "Move my bed into your room?" He questioned, acting like he was thinking it over. "That is a really good idea." he said after a minute. It would help, he was sure, and once things improved they could go back to their own rooms. It would be great really. He just didn't want his brother to think of him as childish for really liking the idea.

He looked down when he started talking about the Capitol though and going there. How he was alright because he had Zinaya and friends there that looked after him and he could talk to. That was great really. Juliana was very thankful for them and he knew that Theo was in good hands, but...what about him? He didn't bring it up though. He didn't want to sound so selfish. Besides, it was his own fault for not wanting to get close to anyone who could leave him again...

"I'll have to remember to thank Zinaya next time I see her for looking after you."
Julian commented with a grin, reaching up and messing up his hair the way that Theo had previously done to him. The grins and smiles came so easily after having so long to practice creating them no matter how he really felt. He hugged him again, this time actually wrapping his own arms around him and holding on tightly. "You were the one who was meant to come out and it's not like that could ever be changed anyway...so I say we just enjoy you being home." he decided. It was easier now that Theo had talked about it.

He sighed softly as he began actually telling about what the Capitol was really like. It sounded nice and he hated that it sounded so nice. He wanted to just completely hate them all for what they had done, but really...it wasn't all of them. "I can't imagine you smelling like flowers. That must have been really weird." Julian said with a laugh. "Please never come home smelling like them." he added. It would be too weird. "I wish I could see it myself, but...I'm glad I never got to." he added quickly. That would have meant he would have to go into the games.

He understood what he was saying about the Capitolites though and how they weren't as bad as one would originally believe. They just didn't know any different and they were...spoiled as spoiled could be compared to the rest of Panem. Even compared to the upper districts he was sure. "I'm glad to hear that really. I like the idea of you being around misguided, kind, spoiled people more than bloodthirsty freaks who like watching kids kill each other." he told him. He would trust his brother's judgement of them. That meant that the people they hated...that actually caused all this...were the people in power in the Capitol. They were the ones to hate.
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Theo Greenheart
 Posted on: Feb 7 2018, 02:11 PM
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I'm not myself I'm a replica of me
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D7 Victor/Mentor
Posts: 120
Livvyowl
Rep: 7 pts


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Don't get too close it's dark inside, it's where my demons hide.


"That would never, for any reason happen. But I feel the same you know. You could do anything and I wouldn't be able to hate you" he agreed. There wasn't a single thing in existence that he could imagine Julian doing to make him love him less. It was strange, sitting here talking about that, and then realizing that he'd killed so many someone's kid and someone's brother or sister in the game. The thought hit him like ton of bricks and suddenly he felt like he might be sick. He closed his eyes and focused on slow, deep breaths to avoid doing just that. It was the last thing they needed right now.

"You know me well" he commented when Julian said this was the first place he'd come to look for him. Theo knew that this was true, and besides, this had always been his hideout as a kid if he was upset about something or needed to hide away for a while. It was important for him to have a place like that, but it shouldn't have surprised him that Julian would come here first if he was looking for him somewhere outside of the house. It would probably be the first place he would have looked for Julian as well if he thought about it. They'd spent countless hours out here expanding the tree house and playing or just talking.

Relief flooded Theo as Julian immediately jumped on the idea that they were going to move the beds into the same room so they could help each other through the bad dreams. It would be good for both of them, he was sure of that. When they were younger they'd taken comfort in each other, why couldn't they do the same now? It might not be the most conventional coping mechanism, but if it worked, who cared right? "Yeah,
I think it might be really good for both of us. At least neither one of us has to be alone with the bad dreams anymore."
he mused, he could tell Julian truly liked the idea and he was glad that was the case. It would have been a little embarrassing if Julian had hated the idea and just shot him down with the fact that he was grown up now.

After he'd said what he did about having friends to rely on in the Capitol he frowned a little bit and thought about it. Did Julian have anyone to turn to during the time he was gone for the games? He didn't even know and that was the worst. How could he not know? How could he have been so blind to his brother he didn't even know if he had someone to rely on besides their parents when he was off in the Capitol fulfilling his duties as a mentor? Again he felt sick, he had been such a failure as a brother since he'd got out of the games and he just now realized how bad it had gotten.

"Zinaya and some of the other victors have been a lot of help. So yeah you can thank her for that if you want." he agreed and then tilted his head to see if the grin was true. He couldn't see the joy in Julian's eyes like he had before the games when he grinned like that. "Jules I'm sorry, I've been the worst, here I am talking about the people looking out for me when I'm in the Capitol and I didn't even ask if you were going to be ok through it. I hope you have someone just as good looking out for you while I'm there?" he asked, a lump forming in his throat.

When Julian said he had been the one who was meant to come out of the games alive he managed an actual smile, small as it was. "You're right. It is what it is, and what it was meant to be. I can't change it and even if I could I definitely wouldn't." he agreed and then closed his eyes as he rested his head against Julian's shoulder while they hugged each other. "I intend to try to make the best of the fact that I'm here and I intend to try to do what I can to make us both feel better from here on out." he promised. He found that he meant it with all of his heart. He wanted nothing more than to try to get them back to something close to what they'd had before. He knew he'd never be quite the same, but he could work on his relationship with Julian and their interactions together.

A small chuckle left him as he was told never to come home smelling like flowers, it would be too weird. "Now that I know the settings of the showers there I can make sure that doesn't happen, but you know it might be kind of funny. Playing with the weird showers was kind of...I don't know a weird sort of soothing fun that not a lot else was able to bring back then." he admitted. It was amusing even in the darkest of days before the games. He supposed it might not have been as amusing if the situation hadn't been what it was, but he had a feeling his mind had grabbed onto any little thing that wasn't just horrible.

"I would definitely take you to see it if I could, but tell you what, I could bring back some treats next time I go? Would you like that? It was another thing he hadn't thought to do. The Capitol was so normal to him now, and part of him had kept the Capitol separate from home by not bringing any of it there, but it wouldn't be so bad to bring some treats and fun items home to share with Julian. It might even be fun to see his reactions to some of it, right?

"I do genuinely believe a lot of them just doesn't know better. Just doesn't understand what it's like in the Districts and have been blinded by their teachings as kids to not see the horror that the games truly are. And there are some, not a lot that I know of, but some that I know definitely do not approve or like the games. Of course they can't say that out loud where people can hear them. That would cause them a lot of trouble,
but I know they're there."
he mused as he once more proceeded to play with Julian's hair. It was calming to him and he knew Julian enjoyed it as well. It was something they'd done as kids and even though they were grown, they still needed the comfort it brought.

@Julian Greenheart
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