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Prosper Pine
 Posted on: Jul 2 2018, 07:03 AM
Quote
tbc
17
D7 Male
Posts: 243
Squirrel
Victor
Rep: 18 pts


When Prosper awoke, it was with a soft groan, exhaled between just-parted lips. Bleary eyes blinked open slowly, taking in surroundings which weren’t tinted yellow -- a clean, clinical hospital room. The walls a muted white; the air-conditioning at just the right temperature; the blinds half-drawn so he didn’t squint from the glare of the sunset; crisp linen bed-sheets; a glass filled with cool water and slice of lime, resting on the table beside him. Prosper adjusted his position, propping himself upright against the back of the bed, intimately aware that he was dressed only in underwear and that only a thin sheet covered his body from the medical staff who shuffled about the room. He swallowed, tugging the sheet up to his chin and pulling his knees towards his chest, looping arms around them. He was clean. His skin had been washed and returned to its usual pale white, rather than covered in dirt and faded paint. His hair was soft, the neatest it had been in days, even if it was ruffled from sleep. The scabs on his arms were gone, smooth skin unmarred, devoid of any signs that anything had happened at all -- and Prosper was grateful, Prosper was glad that the stings from the mosquito muttations were gone, but he could still feel them. He could still remember the sharp pain as their razor-blade stingers slashed at his skin, he could still remember the terror which jolted through him, the expression on Zephyr and Bolt’s faces as the three of them had fled into the jungle.

It felt wrong, somehow, that people he didn’t know had been touching him. It felt violating and wrong that they had unclothed him and cleaned him and washed his hair, when he hadn’t known, when he’d been sleeping, or unconscious from the pain-relief medication they’d injected into his arm on the hovercraft. They hadn’t told him what they were going to do. They hadn’t told him where they were taking him, or what was going to happen next. They hadn’t even spoken to him at all -- just said he would feel better when he awoke, and he didn’t. He didn’t. There was a drip of some kind of medicine attached to his arm, and bandages still wrapped around the worst of the injuries on his torso--the deep gashes from the barbaric shark-toothed weapons--and a clipboard at the bottom of his bed, a scribbled list of the injuries he’d received.

But there was something missing.

“Where is it?” Prosper demanded, expression twisting into anger and outrage and hurt. “Where is it?” He said, louder, not-quite shouting -- but his voice bounced off the walls. “Give it back!” The doctor ignored him; she didn’t even turn around. Prosper struggled to move his legs off the side of the bed, but his limbs wouldn’t cooperate, and his movements were clunky, and he couldn’t -- but he had to, he had to. He needed the satchel and everything in it. He needed it! “It’s mine -- they’re mine! Give them back!

The woman turned around, slowly, eventually, a sneer on her lips which wasn’t dissimilar to his mother’s. “Be quiet,” her voice was frost. “They’re being decontaminated,” and she snatched at his arm--and Prosper didn’t have the strength to pull it away--and started to inject something else into it, something which made his eyes droop, his head woozy, and the grogginess of unconsciousness begin to grip him again -- but she stopped, as the door clicked open.
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Theo Greenheart
 Posted on: Jul 2 2018, 09:59 AM
Quote
I'm not myself I'm a replica of me
25
D7 Victor/Mentor
Posts: 161
Livvyowl
Rep: 7 pts


Theo had rushed straight to the area he knew they'd be taking Prosper to when he got out of the arena. he knew he wouldn't be allowed to see him straight away, but he also knew he wanted to be there the moment he could. Thee was no way he wasn't going to be here for Prosper any step of the way. As he waited tears were rolling down his cheeks. Happy tears that Prosper was safe in the room just beyond the door. He didn't allow himself to think about Marius or all the other tributes that had to die for this to happen. Right now he was just going to enjoy the knowledge that Prosper had indeed come home to them and that he was coming home with Theo. It was the best feeling in the world, and he didn't mind at all knowing that Prosper would get to live across from him now. The Victor's village was definitely filled of grand houses and he was sure Prosper would find one there to his liking.

He had been told he'd have to wait a good long while, but he didn't care. He just sat in the chair. Then after a while Fern's satchel was brought to him, and he carefully sifted through the items in it to make sure all the items Prosper had wanted to keep from the arena were still in it. All of the items he'd be upset if he didn't get them back. He had taken such care in making sure he could keep the items and he wanted to make sure that they were all there for him.

Soon he heard yelling from the room beyond. A very distinct voice that he knew to be Prosper and the panic in that voice hurt to the bone. He stepped up to the door and for a moment he argued with the personnel. He eventually just pushed his way through to the door. "Just you fucking try to stop me." he threatened. He knew he might be punished for that, but he didn't give a shit. He was going to go into the room and they weren't going to stop him.

He carefully pushed to door open once they stepped to the side and peeked inside, sticking his head in first. A huge smile spread on his lips as he spotted Prosper, but then it turned to a scow. "Unless you absolutely have to do that for the sake of his health I suggest you stop." he said, voice icy. "I want to talk to my Victor, unless he chooses to let you put him to sleep." he said and stepped up to the bed where Prosper was situated.

Not a moment was wasted as he leaned over and gave Prosper a hug. Gentle, but also firm and loving. Once he pulled back he held up the bag. "I thought you might want these.. they just took them to clean it. I checked that everything is there." he said softly and placed Fern's bag gently on the bed next to Prosper. "Everything is just as it was... just a bit cleaner."
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Prosper Pine
 Posted on: Jul 3 2018, 03:30 PM
Quote
tbc
17
D7 Male
Posts: 243
Squirrel
Victor
Rep: 18 pts


Prosper could hear raised voices from the other side of the door, but they were quickly replaced by the squeak of hinges and Theo’s face, peering around the corner. Prosper’s breath caught in his throat and he struggled to pull his arm away again, twisting and wrenching until the doctor released her grip. Prosper didn’t want to be medicated—sedated like the animals in District Ten’s butcheries—because then he might not wake up when he needed to. The drip already attached to his arm was fine — the painkillers were fine, they kept his head clear and removed the soreness in his muscles, the overpowering exhaustion from fighting so desperately, and the deep sting of the gashes in his side. The painkillers were fine, but whatever the doctor had in the needle was not. He didn’t want to sleep in this strange bed, surrounded by unfamiliar faces. He felt exposed, in an open, almost-empty room. Anyone could find him. Anyone could see him. Anyone could hurt him.

But Theo was there, threatening the woman, insisting she left him alone and took the medicine away unless she absolutely needed to use it. The doctor paused, glaring at Theo with an even frostier expression than the sneer she’d sent in Prosper’s direction. “Keep him calm, or he will have to sleep,” she hissed as she set the needle down on the table at the end of the bed, saying nothing further before bustling off, walking stiff-backed how most proper people should — but Prosper found himself loathing it intensely on her. He hated her perfectly-ironed shirt and her grey hair, tied in an intricate plait, and the plum-coloured nail-polish she wore. He hated the sound of her breath and the irritated tuts she concealed in her sighs. He hated the sound of her shoes, clicking away down the corridor. He hated her — hated her, but she was gone. Theo had made her leave, and the room was empty, just the two of them surrounded by blank, white walls — so much white, except for the golden satchel which Theo placed beside him, the leather intact, unmarred by the scratches and blood splatters which had coated it in the arena.

Prosper choked out another noise—appreciation and relief that everything was there, Theo had made sure to keep everything for him—and he snatched at the front of the man’s shirt, pulling his body closer insistently. “That wasn’t a proper hug,” his voice came out croaky, muffled as he buried his face against Theo’s chest, skinny arms struggling to wrap around Theo’s torso. It had been a proper hug and Theo’s arms had been so gentle around him, so careful not to crowd him or put pressure on any of his injuries, but it ended too quickly and Prosper just… he wanted to feel okay, for a minute. He wanted to feel normal. He wanted to feel that there was someone else there — someone else right beside him, just as Zephyr had hugged him beneath the tree in the jungle.

"Thank you," Prosper breathed the words which for once came easily. He didn't elaborate—his throat felt too tight to specify, to thank Theo for the satchel and everything in it, the notes, the donations, for believing in him—but he hoped that Theo knew, anyway.
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Theo Greenheart
 Posted on: Jul 3 2018, 03:52 PM
Quote
I'm not myself I'm a replica of me
25
D7 Victor/Mentor
Posts: 161
Livvyowl
Rep: 7 pts


The could see the panic in Prosper's face as he tried to wrench his arm away from the needle. "Oh we'll stay calm as long as something not wanted isn't tried to be forced on anyone." he said, giving her a look to rival her own frosty look. Theo didn't often get pissed off, but this pissed him off. He felt extremely protective of Prosper. Especially now that he was out of the arena and there was no doubt at all in Theo's mind that he'd be struggling with things. "Just leave us to it, I will make sure he stays calm, and I will call if we need anything." he said and then watched the woman leave. She annoyed him, and he hated having to deal with her at all.

The choked noise that left Prosper broke Theo's heart, he had been about to pull away to let Prosper take the bag, but then his shirt was clutched and he was pulled closer and told it wasn't a proper hug. He smiled a little and leaned down to wrap his arms gently around Prosper once more. Again making sure not to hurt him. "You can have as many and as long lasting hugs as you'd like." he promised as he just held him. It was an awkward position to be holding, but he didn't even care. This wasn't about him, it was about Prosper and what he needed. What he needed, whatever it was, Theo would provide if it was in his power.

"You're welcome Prosper. It seems you found your motivation." he said, a soft smile on his lips that also sounded in his voice. "I'm so glad you're back, and I want you to know I'll help in whatever way I can. Whatever you need." he promised. Prosper had grown so much in the games. He'd made a friend, he'd found an honor that was true honor. Sure, he'd still been all about himself and bringing himself home, but no one could blame him for that. "Whether that is all the hugs in the world, or just me being here. I'll do it." he promised. He meant every word of it. He'd really do whatever it took to make this easier on Prosper.

"I want you to know it's okay to feel broken... I still do sometimes. You know that." he said. "If there's one thing you can be absolutely sure of, it is that I will never judge you. Ever." he continued. "And we'll be neighbors now. You're always welcome at my house once we get home." It was so important to him to make absolutely sure Prosper knew he wasn't alone, and that he would never have to be alone unless he wanted to. He would always have Theo to lean on.
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Prosper Pine
 Posted on: Jul 5 2018, 06:47 AM
Quote
tbc
17
D7 Male
Posts: 243
Squirrel
Victor
Rep: 18 pts


Prosper hadn’t heard Theo speak with such cold anger before, but he knew that there wasn’t any enjoyment for the other man in being aggressive; his mentor’s words were threatening and sharp, but they were a means of keeping the doctor away and ensuring that Prosper was given the opportunity to choose what he wanted to happen — and it wasn’t being forced into a medicated sleep. Theo was fighting his corner. Theo was defending him, whereas Prosper was used to having to defend himself — both in the arena, and before. He’d had allies in the Games—friends, even—but they’d all known that only one tribute was able to survive and each of them, in the backs of their minds, hoped that it might be them.

This was different — with Theo, it was different.

Theo hadn’t given up on him. He’d done everything he could to help, everything he could to send Prosper the items (and support) he needed to keep going; water and medicine and notes filled with such resounding determination to help him, no matter what. Theo hadn’t stopped believing in him. Theo didn’t have a single horrible word to say, now, and the way he looked at Prosper wasn’t laced with silent judgement for everything Prosper had chosen—or needed—to do. He wasn’t sneering at him, or making him feel worthless because he was barely behaving as a Pine should. He was just holding him, his voice kind as he told Prosper that he could have endless amounts of hugs — to which Prosper squeezed his arms tighter around his mentor and nodded, unable to contain the warm wetness which began to spill from the corner of his eyes. Theo wasn’t judging him; Theo wasn’t being cruel about anything that Prosper had done — and Prosper had thought he wouldn’t, Prosper had known his mentor would understand—more than anyone else could—but the relief still washed over him, the tenseness in his muscles ebbing away as he clung to Theo.

“Thank you,” he whispered again, only pulling away when his arms started to ache from the effort of holding them upright, casting quick glances at Theo’s expression out of the corner of his eye, not quite daring to meet his gaze while his mentor told him such reassuring things that they almost sounded too good to be true. Theo would keep helping, in any way, no matter what? Theo wouldn’t judge him? He watched Theo’s expression carefully, hoping so much for it to be true that he almost couldn’t believe that it would be. “Do you mean it?” He asked softly, voice thick while his hands began to fidget with the corner of the bedsheet, and then the strap of the satchel, running his fingertips over the smooth leather.

“I’ll have to help you redecorate first,” a tiny smile pulled on the corners of his lips — but his tone was friendly, not derogatory as it would have been, before. Before the Games and the train-ride to the Capitol, and the Reaping and… everything. Before everything. “I’m sure your taste is appalling,” he exhaled an almost-laugh, maybe, because of course Prosper Pine couldn’t set foot in a house with a ghastly interior — although, that wasn’t really true anymore. He could. He would, because it was Theo’s, but the false-sneer in his voice helped him feel more normal; it lightened the room, and meant he felt less nervous while extending a tentative offer of his own. “You can help me decorate mine in return, of course.”

There was something almost hopeful in his gaze; moving into his own house, alone, was a terrifying thought.
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Theo Greenheart
 Posted on: Jul 5 2018, 07:42 AM
Quote
I'm not myself I'm a replica of me
25
D7 Victor/Mentor
Posts: 161
Livvyowl
Rep: 7 pts


Theo just held Prosper close to his chest. Especially when the boy tightened his grip on him. "You're welcome Prosper. I'm so glad you're home." he said and the emotions in his voice made it very clear that he meant that. He was glad that Prosper had come out and he was looking forward to getting to know the boy he'd seen that night in the apartments. The boy under the sneers and the attitude. He knew that they had a different relationship now than they had on the train here. Now they were friends. Theo would do whatever it took to make this as easy as he could on him.

"Of course I mean it." he replied as he reached over to gently wipe the tears off of Prosper's cheeks. "Why would I ever judge you for anything? I've been there too, and I know it's tough. I know it's going to be tough going forward too. My door is open any time. Day or night." he promised. He was sure Prosper was going to need the support and he had a sneaking suspicion he wasn't going to get it from his parents. "I'm so proud of you." he whispered, voice shaking with emotions. He really was. He was so proud of Prosper and the development the boy had in the arena. From looking down on everyone, to having allies and even friends. There was no mistaking that Prosper and Zephyr had been friends.

When Prosper said he had to help Theo re-decorate he let out a warm laugh. "I will let you make some suggestions for sure. Something tells me our tastes are a little different." he smiled at the boy. "Still, I would definitely love to help you decorate the house of your choosing in the Victor's village." he smiled and leaned down to give the boy another hug. "And of course we still need to go on our vacation. I was hoping you'd be okay with me bringing Julian too. I think you'd like him. Him and I aren't so different." he smiled squeezing Prosper lightly, mindful of his injuries, before pulling back once more.

"And of course when you do pick a house I'll be on the same street and you can visit any time. I'll definitely make sure to stop by as well." he promised, hoping to ease some of the stress Prosper was likely feeling. "I hope.." he said gently after a moment of silence. "That my notes helped some. I know they may not have been all that much, but I tried to write something that might help you feel a bit better in there." he said as he reached over and just gently placed his hand on Prosper's shoulder now that they weren't hugging. Maybe the physical contact would help ease some of the discomfort he knew the other must be feeling.
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Prosper Pine
 Posted on: Jul 7 2018, 06:34 PM
Quote
tbc
17
D7 Male
Posts: 243
Squirrel
Victor
Rep: 18 pts


I’m so glad you’re home. My door is open any time. I’m so proud of you.

It was everything Prosper wanted to hear (but never would) from his mother. It was everything he’d wanted to be told, on the freezing, winter nights when his head was throbbing from a migraine and his muscles were weary with the flu; when he excelled at school, clutching a report card which was glowing but never good enough; when he watched the other children, laughing and playing, clambering up trees and dashing through the streets with their friends, and he’d told himself he was too good for such childishness, he was too mature and too educated and too proper to behave with such a lack of decorum, and that maybe it would all be worth it--maybe the boring days and lonely nights would be worth it--if his mother could just be proud of him. And maybe she would have been. Maybe, when he was finally good enough to understand his father’s lessons first time, when he was finally everything his mother wished for in a son, they would have accepted him. They would have been proud.

But he’d thrown it all away. He’d had no choice; he’d wanted to live, he’d wanted to survive, he’d wanted to have the chance to go home -- but he couldn’t have done it any other way. He couldn’t have done it while remaining clean and distant and alone, without Zephyr or Marius or any of the others. He couldn’t. But Theo didn’t care about how he’d behaved -- Theo was just glad he was alive. Theo wasn’t judging him. He was offering to be there for Prosper, because he knew it was going to be difficult but he said Prosper could turn to him, at any time, no matter what. Prosper hated the idea of needing to rely on someone else so much. He despised himself for feeling so vulnerable and letting someone else see how weak he could be, beneath the sneering exterior, because he knew his mother could never be proud of him if this was how he was choosing to behave -- but this was Theo, and Theo was proud of him, and maybe, just as he hadn’t been able to get through the arena without others around him, he wouldn’t be able to cope with victory without Theo, either.

Maybe.

There was a murmured noise, lodged in the back of Prosper’s throat as Theo’s fingers--so gentle--wiped away his tears, meeting Prosper’s weakness with kindness rather than scolding him to grow up. It took a few moments for Prosper to gather himself enough to speak again; he tried to breathe slowly, but his body was trembling, and the air felt too dry, and his throat was too tight.

Theo was proud of him.

Some suggestions?” Prosper whispered eventually, his tone suggesting that Theo’s house would need far more than only ‘some’ -- but much as he tried to pretend to be outraged that he couldn’t redecorate Theo’s house from top-to-bottom, he couldn’t. He was too tired, and his heart wasn’t in it; he was just glad for the conversation which took his mind off the Games and pulled Theo’s attention away from the tears which slid down his cheeks. He leaned into the hug, a small smile tweaking on his lips at the mention of the vacation. “We should go to the beach, first,” Prosper decided -- quiet, hopeful. “I’ve never been before. Have you?” He asked, before nodding into Theo’s chest at the request to bring Julian. Theo had told him about his brother before, and Prosper was intrigued to meet him, to see how similar the two of them really were. “Does he have a tendency to punch mirrors, too?” Prosper’s eyes glinted as he gave a tiny smile; there wasn’t any trace of malice in his tone, because he knew Theo coped with victory however he could, and he knew that Theo hadn’t exactly been in control that night in the apartments.

Prosper could understand that, now.

“I…” His gaze fell upon the golden satchel, knowing the notes were tucked away safely inside along with everything else he didn’t want to lose. He pulled it closer towards him, hugging it to his chest, leaning in ever-so-slightly to Theo’s touch on his shoulder. He’d never liked physical contact, before. It had felt unfamiliar and jarring and wrong -- but with Zephyr, and Theo, he’d grown to accept it. Maybe even like it, just a little. “Yes, they... They did," he paused. "But your artwork could use improvement, don’t you think?” A maybe-chuckle lingered on his lips. “I should hope I don’t actually look like that stick-figure,” of course, nothing of the sort had crossed his mind whilst in the arena; the notes had been a reminder that someone cared and that someone was with him, every step of the way. The notes had helped to keep him going, especially when everything had started to become awful. “I don’t… I thought I could do it alone, on the train. I thought I didn’t need anyone -- that everyone else would hold me back, but…” It couldn’t have been further from the truth. “I couldn’t… They… Even Fern,” Even Fern had helped him. Even the forgettable Fern Forrest hadn’t turned out so bad, after all. “I don’t think… I don’t think I could have--” done it without you. Prosper shook his head and wiped away tears with a jerky hand, then gestured for Theo to sit beside him.

He couldn’t bring himself to finish the sentence -- but his gaze flicked between the satchel and Theo, eyes burning with such intensity that Theo would likely know what he was trying to express, anyway.
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Theo Greenheart
 Posted on: Jul 7 2018, 07:02 PM
Quote
I'm not myself I'm a replica of me
25
D7 Victor/Mentor
Posts: 161
Livvyowl
Rep: 7 pts


Theo hated seeing how broken Prosper was. It was clear enough because the boy would never be so openly crying in front of him if he wasn't. Not that Theo saw anything wrong with that, but he knew for a fact that Prosper did think it was wrong. It wasn't. No amount of telling him that was going to change how he felt though. No. Theo was going to show him. Time and time again, that no matter what emotional state he found Prosper in, he would be there for him. He would support him every step of the way because Prosper deserved so much better. He may not think that better was to know someone cared, or to be able to show emotions without worrying what the world might think, but he would. In time.

The conversation went onto the decorating of houses and Theo almost laughed as Prosper tried to sound incredulous that he wouldn't be allowed to do a full re-decorating of Theo's house. He kept gently wiping at the tears on Prosper's cheeks though. Wanting the boy to know he cared, but he also did it in such a way that Prosper could pretend it wasn't happening if he wanted to. "Alright, maybe I'll let you make a little more than just some. We'll see how well I like the first few suggestions." he said and winked at the boy, because clearly he was trying to talk about things to take his mind off the games and how he was feeling and Theo didn't want to stop that from happening if it was what he wanted.

"The beach sounds like a wonderful place to start. Nah I haven't been in Four either and haven't really been to the beach." he said as he looked at the boy carefully. He really didn't seem to mind that he requested Julian come along. "Good, I'm glad you don't mind. I think he'd love to see the ocean too." he said softly. Then he did chuckle as he was asked if Julian punched mirrors too. "I sure hope he doesn't," he said, glad that his hands had already healed from the glass he'd broken in the bar when he'd been wanting to get Prosper the donation Ana had helped him with. He wouldn't want Prosper to see he'd done more damage to his hands since Prosper had helped him heal up back in the pre-games.

When he asked about the donations and if they'd helped his eyes followed Prosper's eyes to the golden satchel. Since Prosper didn't pull away from the hand he'd placed on his shoulder, he kept his hand there, a slight squeeze to the touch to make sure he knew it wasn't just resting there but that Theo was trying to offer some comfort while they talked about that. "I'm glad they did." he said in almost a whisper. He was so glad to know he'd done something that had helped. Then he couldn't help but to smile as the stick-figure was mentioned. "Hey I never claimed to be good at drawing. I carve wood, but there was hardly time to do that." he said with a chuckle. "But yes, I could definitely get better at drawing, and I'd hope I don't look like the stick figure that's supposed to be me either." he grinned.

"You don't think you could have made it alone. I know." he said gently and squeezed the shoulder a little more. "I'm glad you had someone to help you get here though." he added, because he truly was so glad that Prosper had made it home. "I was so proud of you for making allies." he said. "I'm still proud of you, for that, for making it our and for not giving up." he said and then went to sit on the bed next to Prosper when he gestured for him to.

Then he wrapped an arm around the boy and pulled him close. "It's okay not to be able to do everything alone." he said softly. Theo had been alone for most of his games. It had been rough, but it had been what he needed to do. For Prosper it had almost seemed like the opposite. Like he'd craved some friendship and had found it when he most needed it. Prosper had grown so much in the arena. Had become quite different from who he had been on the train. "I know you thought differently on the train, but you know I don't blame you for any of that right? It's in the past, and I am just glad to have you back home with us." he said in the most soothing voice he could muster. "I should have given you more of a chance on the train. I'm sorry it took me so long to come around."
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Prosper Pine
 Posted on: Jul 9 2018, 02:49 PM
Quote
tbc
17
D7 Male
Posts: 243
Squirrel
Victor
Rep: 18 pts


”They’ll be excellent suggestions, so you’ll simply have no choice but to like them,” Prosper replied, giving Theo a small, false-smug smile in response to the wink; self-confidence and resound assurance in his own opinions were traits Prosper had never lacked before, and speaking in that way--no matter how forced it was--made the situation feel more... normal. It helped him feel like himself -- the boy he had been, before the Games. The boy his parents wanted him to be. Prosper Pine deserved victory and everything which came with it; the adoration of thousands of people, the spotlight in the Capitol, invites to exclusive parties with expensive banquets, a glittering crown. That’s what he’d thought, when his name had so abruptly been plucked from the Reaping bowl. He deserved the victory, more than any of the others, because he never should have been chosen in the first place. But Prosper, now, didn’t want anything which came with the 'success', because it didn’t feel like winning. It felt rotten, like there was something putrid, festering inside of him which would never leave -- and all he wanted was to curl up and try to forget. He wanted to erase everything that had happened and return to how he had been -- how his life had been, when the worst thing he could expect from a day was boredom and a pricked finger, but he couldn’t, and that would mean forgetting Zephyr and… he didn’t want that, either.

He just wanted to feel normal.

Theo’s presence was a comforting distraction; he spoke quietly, his words interjected with smiles, scattered laughter, and caring squeezes -- and a part of Prosper wanted to withdraw, and push Theo away and make the other victor leave by saying something so nasty and cruel that Theo wouldn’t even comprehend sticking around, because Prosper almost couldn’t bear the embarrassment of feeling so vulnerable. Speaking coldly had always worked in the past. It had, hadn’t it? Putting others down, making them feel small, ensuring no-one could ever get close to him, reminding everyone of his own importance and his own superiority -- but while he felt pompous and smug in the moment, his days had always ended the same. Suffocating boredom; unyielding loneliness. A traitorous wish that everything could be different, somehow, even though that wasn’t what he was supposed to want -- he wasn’t supposed to want friends. Not at all. He was a Pine. He was supposed to be alone; it was the price of being better. And Prosper wanted to make Theo leave now, just as he had with everyone else -- but he, no… he didn’t. He didn’t want that. He couldn’t bring himself to do it, not when Theo had been so open and kind, and when the other victor was wiping away his tears and saying how proud he was. Talking about the beach, and that he hoped Julian didn't share his habit of cracking mirrors. Prosper couldn’t; he needed someone with him. He needed Theo with him.

“I thought yours was… quite -- accurate,” Prosper’s words were broken by sniffles, but his expression lifted in another small smile, at least until the conversation turned back to the Games. “I -- I didn’t want him to die,” Prosper exhaled a strangled noise, shifting on the bed so he was almost laying down, resting his head against Theo, arms clutched around him. “I didn’t -- I didn’t want to ki--” Prosper’s words were drowned in a fresh wave of sobs, his body shaking fervently. He’d never wanted to hurt anyone -- never, not even on the train. But Zephyr had died because Prosper had run away; and Marius had just been another tribute, exactly like him, who wanted to go home. “I just… I had to, I couldn’t… not. Not if I wanted to… to live, but I -- I still… I didn’t want to,” he paused. “But I… I know. It was different, then. I was… different. I don’t think I would say… any of that… now.”
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Theo Greenheart
 Posted on: Jul 11 2018, 01:51 AM
Quote
I'm not myself I'm a replica of me
25
D7 Victor/Mentor
Posts: 161
Livvyowl
Rep: 7 pts


"Well if they're as excellent as you say I'll have no choice but to accept them." he agreed with a smile. He could tell the smugness was false and that Prosper was struggling more than he would like to let Theo know, but he wasn't going to judge him. He'd just come out of an extremely traumatic experience and he was allowed to feel stressed and emotional. Of course he also knew Prosper viewed those things as being weak. Though he thought he had managed to make some progress on that the night during the pre-games. Now? Well they were just going to have to work on it. Theo gave his shoulder a light squeeze of comfort. He wanted Prosper to know without a doubt that Theo wasn't going anywhere and that he would never even consider judging him for feeling the way he was right now. Theo knew all too well how it felt to be where Prosper was now, and it was pretty damn awful.

He chuckled as Prosper told him he thought his had been quite accurate. It was sweet but the boy was clearly at least taking some comfort in his presence and that was all he could really ask for. He couldn't ask for anything beyond what Prosper felt comfortable giving, but the small smile told him he was saying some of the right things at least. Of course it was going to be impossible not to talk about the games for a while. There was going to be interviews, there was going to be the victory tour in a while. They were never going to let Prosper forget. Just like they never let Theo forget either. Even though he desperately wanted to.

"Of course you didn't." he said softly. "Of course didn't want any of that." he said as he wrapped his arms around Prosper so he could hug him properly the boy needed him and he wasn't going to go anywhere. "I know... I understand. I never wanted to either... but there is no choice in there. Not if you want to make it out." he said gently but firmly. Prosper really hadn't had a choice in the matter. He really hadn't had any way to choose to not kill. Not unless he also accepted death. Theo couldn't blame him for not wanting to accept death.

"I don't think you would have said any of that now either." he said as he gently stroked Prosper's back with one hand. He just wanted to hold him and protect him from the world, but he knew he wouldn't be able to for long. Soon the Capitol was going to demand his presence in interviews and demand to see the person they thought he was. The one who was going to be super confident about his win and who didn't care who he'd had to step on to get there. That Prosper didn't exist anymore and Theo knew it.

"You don't have to be that person anymore Prosper, not unless that is who you want to be." he said in a caring tone. "And you know... if your parents have a problem with that.. you have a family in me, in my family. I'm sure they'll all love you once they get to know you." he said because he thought that to be the truth. His family, like him, would see the boy underneath the smartass comments and the tough exterior once they gave Prosper a chance. They would give Prosper a chance because Theo wanted them to, then they'd come to care for him just like Theo did. "I know that's tough to think about, but know you'll always have me yeah? No matter what happens?"
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Prosper Pine
 Posted on: Jul 31 2018, 04:17 PM
Quote
tbc
17
D7 Male
Posts: 243
Squirrel
Victor
Rep: 18 pts


”I know,” Prosper admitted--barely more than a whisper, even still--but his relief was evident in the slight slackening in his muscles and the quiet, gentle breath he exhaled as the older victor pulled him into another hug, arms carefully wrapped around a bruised body. “I s-suppose… I know. I know you understand, I believe you understand, because I’ve never -- I’ve never met anyone like you before,” he made a noise which was (maybe) almost a laugh, because it had been apparent to the both of them that they'd had drastically different lives, surrounded by people who couldn't be more dissimilar. Even so, Prosper accepted that Theo did understand; the other victor had faced the Games and had lived to be crowned a victor, just like him, but it was more than that. Every victor had faced the same challenges, but there was no-one else who knew him like Theo. None of the other victors could possibly understand, not really. Not like this.

Everything would be different, now.

But Theo would be there -- and Theo understood. Theo understood.

Prosper had been ten-years-old when Theo had volunteered -- too young to have been reaped himself, but old enough to remember. The worst parts of Prosper’s Games had occurred whilst surrounded by endless grain and a humid, sweltering jungle, but Theo had experienced a freezing, coniferous forest and blood splattered on pure-white snow. “I watched your Games,” Prosper said, a sudden murmur. “I didn’t… I never paid much attention to any of them, but everyone has to watch, so… I did,” Theo had fought to come home, just like Prosper. There was a kind of kinship in that. "So, I suppose," Prosper swallowed, but while his throat still felt tight and choked up, he didn’t want to break the hug to reach for the glass of water -- especially once Theo’s hand started making soothing motions against his back. He exhaled a shuddering breath in response, tightening his arms around Theo, as if to insist the other victor didn’t stop, or pull away, or leave. “I… I understand, too,” he whispered, lips barely parted, so quickly that it could have been missed if the other victor wasn't paying attention. Theo likely had far more friends than Prosper ever would, and he had Julian and his parents and people who loved him -- but that didn’t change anything.

Theo understood him -- but Prosper understood Theo, too.

Everything had shifted that night in the District Seven apartments, when Prosper had witnessed Theo feeling more vulnerable and exposed than he’d ever seen anyone else before -- and it had changed, again, with the donations and the notes and the persevering knowledge that Theo had believed in him. Theo had helped him; Theo had brought him home. And Theo was telling him that he would be family, and that he would always be there, no matter what. Prosper’s fingers twisted in Theo’s shirt, pulling him as close as possible, his face shoved ungracefully against Theo’s chest as tears streamed freely down his cheeks. It was everything he’d ever wanted; everything he’d ever wanted to be told. Someone accepted him. Someone cared about him. Someone would be there for him, no matter what happened.

“I want… I want my life to be how it used to be. But it can’t. It can’t be. It won’t be, and maybe that’s not what I want… and maybe I should... I don’t… I don’t know, Theo,” his life before the Games had been perfect -- or, at least, it had appeared that way to others. A beautiful family, surrounded by fine clothes, expensive wine, and luxurious food, except there had been foul, blackened mould lurking on the edges; jealousy, anger. Loneliness.

“But... Theo, it doesn’t matter who I am, or who I want to be,” Theo told him he could be whatever person he chose to be, and he would still have a family -- and there was nothing Prosper could ever do or say to show his appreciation for the assurance, or to convey how much he wanted it to be true, but he also couldn't shake the anxiety festering in the pit of his stomach. Theo was kind. Theo was caring. But… this was something Prosper was certain Theo couldn’t understand. “I… I don’t have a choice,” he desperately wanted his parents to care; he desperately wanted their approval. Even if it was only tiny -- just a small nod from his father, or the feeling of his mother’s hand on his shoulder, a tiny smile on her lips. Just something. Something to know he was still their son. “They’ll disown me, Theo. They’ll… maybe they already have, but I have to try. I can’t… I can’t just give it all up. I can’t.”
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Theo Greenheart
 Posted on: Aug 1 2018, 07:41 AM
Quote
I'm not myself I'm a replica of me
25
D7 Victor/Mentor
Posts: 161
Livvyowl
Rep: 7 pts


Theo smiled as he heard Prosper say he knew that Theo understood and even more so when he could feel Prosper's muscles relax a little more. "Well I'm glad you know and that you feel like I really do understand. Our experiences may not have been the same, and we may be from vastly different backgrounds, but we will always have an understanding for one another that most people won't." he promised. He knew it to be true. He felt that way with some of his other Victor friends too. They understood him in a way no one who hadn't survived the games could. The small almost laugh made Theo smile. At least he had made the right choice in coming in here, it seemed his presence was easing Prosper's mind and making him feel slightly less lost. Theo remembered how lost he had felt whenever he was alone right after his games. How the memories consumed him in the worst of ways.

"Most people did... but it is different, once you've been in the games yourself, the way you think about the ones you watched." he commented quietly. He knew the ones he'd seen before his own games had a different meaning to him now than they did when he only half watched them back before he went in himself. Theo just continued the movement of his hand on Prosper's back when he hugged himself closer to him. Clearly that was a welcome action and Theo wasn't going to pull away until Prosper himself did. That would be up to him, Theo wouldn't mind sitting here all night if Prosper wanted him to.

"You do understand." he agreed with a soft tone of his voice. "That is different now. I wish you didn't have to understand, but I also wouldn't have it any other way because I don't like the other alternative." he said softly and just kept making the soothing circles on Prosper's back. He knew the boy hadn't had much love thrown at him during his short life so far, but Theo was going to shower him in all the love the boy would accept and then some. That was the promise he made Prosper in his mind. He was going to be there for him whenever he needed him.

Things always changed, but things changed more than normal when you were in the games. It was just such a huge upheaval in someone's life and it made things all that much harder. Still, at least they had one another who understood. At least they had some support. Theo was going to be that support for Prosper the best he could and then during the next games they could also help one another. Zinaya would help too, she would have to get used to the idea that they were a team now, and Prosper and her would likely need to come to some sort of understanding, but that would be later. Not now. Not when all they needed to focus on was to keep Prosper as calm and happy as possible for the time being.

"I know.. I get that Prosper. You may not think I do, but I understand wanting it to be the way it was. I wanted that too when I came home. To just step back into the role I'd had before and the life I'd had before. Unfortunately it's not that simple." he admitted, he didn't want to sugarcoat anything, because honestly it wasn't going to work that well. It wasn't going to be the same.

"Yes it matters. Of course it matters who you want to be and who you are." That was one thing he was going to insist on. "You do have a choice, but not all choices are easy." he said gently. "I understand that you want to try, of course you would want to try. I get that. They are your family." he said, voice filled with compassion. "But... I want you to know that if they DO indeed disown you, which I really hope they won't, then you won't be alone okay? You will never be alone. I will be your family and I know once the rest of my family gets to know you they will want to be as well. It's not the same. I know that, but it's all I can offer."
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Prosper Pine
 Posted on: Aug 10 2018, 06:42 AM
Quote
tbc
17
D7 Male
Posts: 243
Squirrel
Victor
Rep: 18 pts


Prosper remained quiet, content to let his eyes flutter closed and simply listen while Theo talked to him. He lifted a hand—carefully, tentatively, because he was still sore, even despite the expensive Capitol medicine he’d undoubtedly been given whilst unconscious—and scrubbed away the last few tears, determined to erase all evidence of the tear-tracks which stained his cheeks, even though the room was only occupied by him and Theo. He listened while the other victor spoke a little more about understanding, and Prosper knew that it was true. Every word. They would always understand each other —and it was better than what would have happened otherwise. Prosper would have died and Theo… well, Prosper didn’t know, but just as he didn’t want to think about death—his death, and how close he’d come to being one of the tributes who would never make it out of the arena—he knew Theo probably didn’t want to think about the Games anymore, either.

“You did?” Prosper murmured the question, but he didn’t expect an answer. He knew Theo must have felt similarly to how he did now — wanting his life to return to normal. “I know. I know it’s not — but…” Prosper paused, breathing shakily. He knew it wasn’t simple, he knew he couldn’t simply slip back into his old life as if nothing had changed. As if he’d never been reaped and had never entered the arena. “But I still… I still wish I could,” he knew it would never happen — but that didn’t stop him from longing for easier days, even if they’d only been easy on the surface. At least he’d known what to expect, back then, whereas now everything was shifting and tumultuous and confusing. Everything was different — and would continue to be for a long time.

He frowned when Theo told him that he did have a choice, but that not every option available to him was an easy route for him to take. It sent his mind spinning; protests surged towards the tip of his tongue that it wasn’t really a choice, if he had to pick between an uncomfortable outcome and a horrible one. Between trying—again, and again—until his parents would maybe accept him, or giving up and watching his whole life fall away from him in a tailspin. “Fine,” Prosper muttered begrudgingly. “Maybe there is a choice — maybe, but a difficult choice isn’t really a choice at all,” he wasn’t being argumentative — just… stubborn. He could hear the kindness and empathy in Theo’s voice, especially when Theo told him he’d never be alone. He’d have Theo, and Theo’s family — even if his own parents didn’t want him. “I hope they won’t either,” he said, barely more than a whisper. “But… thank you. I…” he swallowed, and shook his head, unable to express in words exactly what Theo’s words meant to him. It didn’t take away the stress Prosper was feeling at having to see his parents again, but it did help, knowingthat even if the worst happened, and it all went horribly wrong, and they completely refused to see him… it helped knowing that he wouldn’t be totally alone.

He’d still have someone who wanted him as family.

“Will you stay?” Prosper asked. “If I sleep for a while?” He wasn’t just tired, he was exhausted and completely drained — but he didn’t want to be alone, right now. He didn’t want Theo to leave.
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Theo Greenheart
 Posted on: Aug 14 2018, 07:13 AM
Quote
I'm not myself I'm a replica of me
25
D7 Victor/Mentor
Posts: 161
Livvyowl
Rep: 7 pts


"I did." he answered quietly. "I wanted to just go back to being the Theo I was before the games. To fall right back into the role I'd had before and to do things exactly like I always had. It didn't work out that way." he admitted sadly. "It didn't work out that way at all. I was a mess Prosper... for years. What you saw before the games is just the tip of the iceberg... there's plenty of other moments like this through the years... which is to say it's not all bad, but the Theo I was before my games is gone. Replaced by this version. A version who instead of protecting my little brother had to be protected by him for years. Not from the outside world,but from myself... I can't lie to you Prosper and tell you this is going to be easy. That would just be cruel." he said softly, his voice filled with sadness due to the fact that he couldn't offer Prosper the thing he wanted. Reassurance that things were going to settle in the way they always had been.

"Of course you wish you could. I completely understand that. I wish it could for your sake too." he agreed, but he knew it wasn't going to be like that. Things would never be quite the same for Prosper now. The boy had brown up to be a man in the short time he'd spent in the games. Grown from being a spoiled kid who thought he was better than everyone else, into someone who now cared. Theo could tell, he'd seen it in the arena and he could see it now.

Theo just hugged Prosper a little closer when he tried to thank Theo for offering up that Prosper wouldn't be alone, that he'd have Theo himself and Theo's family to lean on should his own family not want to get to know the real Prosper. The Prosper that was a good person and cared about people around him. Whose eyes had been opened to the world in a way they probably never could have been had he not ended up in the games. Theo would never wish this on anyone, but he thought that maybe in the end Prosper's life would be richer for it. Richer in the ways that mattered. In love.

"I'm not going to go anywhere unless you want me to." he promised when Prosper asked if he'd stay even if he fell asleep for a while. [b}"Sleep Prosper, it's fine. I promise I'll be here when you wake up. I won't go anywhere. You know.. unless I have to pee and then I'll be back after."[/b] he winked. "I doubt you'd want me to pee in the bed?" he said slightly teasingly, trying to lighten the mood a little before Prosper went off to sleep. Maybe it would ward off some of the nightmares Theo was sure he would end up having.
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