Log:Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now
Landon arrives from Lake Havasu - Marchant House.
Lucas is tired of digging for clues, making plans, blackmailing the student body into having just the tiniest bit of dignity or usefulness, and managed to even manage a nap. The twins figured out it's worth taking a nap after school and just before in 4 and 2 hour chunks (and sometimes lunch) than bothering to sleep at night when they are alert and can get shit done. So that inviting Justin over to finish up some Western Civ homework and hang out a just after dinner. Not all that unusual. Well, not lately.
The house, in all fairness, looks like it should have its own zip-code and when someone mentioned that if we needed to host prom indoors here might work? Well volume-wise they weren't off and there is a ballroom. So when the door rings he manages to beat staff to the door to answer it because his legs aren't broken.
Justin knew his teammates were cooped up at home, unable to go out and enjoy the world, so he decided to be, well, nice. A quick stop on the way over in his beat up junker of a car which probably lowered the property value by 10k by just being parked on the driveway, and Justin was standing at the door with a grease stained paper bag in his hand. As soon as the door opens he lifts up the bag, and in a tone of voice that is way too chipper and way too proud of himself he proclaims. "I brought donuts!" Indeed, the smell of fried dough and sugar is wafting from that bag like a bakery scented genie.
He does have his backpack thrown over his shoulder, since the pretense is at least to catch up on studying and start cramming for the finals which really aren't all that far off.
Argh sweet things. Five munchs cannot go by fast enough for these guys to actually enjoy things properly like combos, pringles, pizza rolls, donuts, and other important dietary staples. The bag of lovely wafting carbs is met with a squint, "Yooooou are such an enabler. I'm beginning to think you hang around me way too much." Which is Lucas for well played. Side nod invites him in. "C'mon in." Oh yeah the space was built to impress in that way a man that owns a bank and entertains investors should own. "He's not got a coat but Lucas does take the bag of donuts peeking inside. It's worth the extra couple miles to run it off later.
Justin does take a moment to look around the inside of the mansion, turning in spot. "You know.. I thought it would be a whole lot more gaudy on the inside. Like if Jade's wardrobe threw up on everything." He shrugs as he settles his attention on Lucas as if he has no excuse for thinking or airing those thoughts aloud. "So where are we studying? I still need to nail down that list of Roman Emperors." He shifts his backpack strap on his shoulder, relinquishing his bag of sugar coated carb bombs to Lucas.
Someone well dressed and utilitarian pauses in he open space mid business with a look to Lucas not interrupting but definitely giving Lucas and Justin a look as he wanders in in in and back toward the kitchen. He waves off the need for, really, anything, "I got it. Thanks." God they have staff. To Justin he says, "And yet, not the maker of the Three. Might be around here somewhere though. May have gotten lost in the back half of the house. Figure this is the perfect place to study Roman Emperors. There's even a vomitorium that opens into a lion pit and the tennis court out back." He pulls two plates and a couple of napkins stacking the donuts on top. He finally, finally comes clean with a vaguely apologetic expression, "I'm just kidding. About the tennis courts. Those are on the other side." He thinks he's amusing.
Now where indeed? "Uhhh I thiiiiink Landon might be still asleep and if he is I really don't wanna wake him up. Billiard room has couches and really only I use it so there'll work. I'll leave him a note." Back to the hall and up the stairs. Really everything like the bank seems rather modern and streamlined without feeling sterile. There's a fine line there.
"Really? I've always meant to try tennis." Justin is doing a fairly good job not looking to shell shocked by the massive living space, and just kind of sticks to Lucas for now. He has the look of a kid who thought he was comfortably middle class and is now confronted with the grim reality of where middle is. "Billiard room. As long as Professor Plum isn't waiting for me in there with the candlestick we're good." He follows after pulling his backpack strap and eyeing the staff guy a bit.. oddly.
Lucas takes the stairs up to teh second floor. There's more than one set but for the sake of the house is neat as hell he uses the main one. There's the faintest grin as he squints around and back to his courtmate, "Hey, might have to get used to this. Keep playing ball like you do they'll have you up in AL or Atlanta like this. Next Michael Jordan man. I'll help ya out. We'll get you a cartographer and everything." Looking around he takes a second to appreciate teh details and enormity of it as they ascend and hang a Louie. "Six years man and it still kinda amazes me to be honest." and there's the Billiard room with ivory carpet and walls, though the testure in stripes adds a texture contrast to both. All teh furniture a dark brown oak and the table itself felted with an ivory wool to match. Cues are racks neatly along the wall and in the wall there's an intercom and also a stereo system with cd changer.
"Shh, you'll jinx it." Justin waves off the mention of playing pro. "Though if I do.." He truns right back around. "I'm not going to be one of those players that blows all my money going crazy right off the bat." Of course he says that now, but knowing Justin, well, actually, he will not be one of those players. Common sense has always been the one thing he tends to have in spades, and no doubt most of his money would end up invested somewhere. He blinks a few times at the billiards room and shakes his head. "This is how you know it's old money. Rich enough to slap you in the face, but classy enough to apologize for it."
Lucas snickers and sets the plates down. He runs down teh hall and with clever quietness grabs his own school bag and scribbles on a post it on Landon's deks Billiards. Returning and catching up he says, "Heh yeah you'll buy your mom a car and get her a condo. It's probably for the best. Average statistics have you being moved a couple times in your first five years. Really hard to sell a house in that time span." He pauses and boggles, "The things you learn when you find out you have family that gets a chubby over real estate." Still tired and pale, but he got a nap in. Sitting down he pulls out his notebook and a donut. Yes the kruller with chocolate on it. "Hey, thanks for checking up on me this week."
When Lucas returns, Justin is digging through his bag, he has his book and notebook set aside and once Lucas appears he pulls a couple of glass bottles out of his pack. Beer? Nope. Justin is far too straight laced to pull that kind of thing. Instead it's a couple of bottle of fancy flavored soda, the type sold by the bottle in the back of some grocery stores or quirky shops, probably picked up in the same place as the donuts, and surprisingly there's still a little coolness to them. "Of course, I can't have you sitting in this house moping all day and night, you'll end up over thinking things and doing something stupid."
Lucas sits. Really the Lester never went out of him and this? Is an ideal outing. Inning? Way to kill some time. "You are too good to my sorry ass. Alright, I think we're on Julius Augustus." He sighs, "I dunno why they can't give people unique names but I suppose Emperor Steve the First doesn't have the same punch."
The donut? Well everything sort of tastes like paste in his mouth but it doesn't keep him from eating the damn donut. "Well, I'm not allowed to leave the house or school unless my brother or cousin's with me. It's like house arrest in a hotel. sometimes it's hard to not over-think things. I got a bunch of people telling me to leave home and a bunch of other folks say stay put and I jsut... I dunno. The perspective...helps." He pauses squinting, "Even if you call me nice things like the smartest dumbass you know." He bites his Donut and takes the soda with a squint. He can't be mad. Not really.
"I bet Steve would be a scarier name if there was a scary dude in history named Steve. Steve the ruthless, slaughterer of babies, sacker of villages, pillager of the seven seas." Justin opens his notebook and sets about staring at the list of Emperors as if he'll gain knowledge by osmosis. "I mean Julius isn't that scary a name out of context.. Julian." He snorts. "Pity any poor guy named Julian." He looks over to Lucas, taking a swig from his own soda. "I'd rather you stay safe, I'd be a bit upset if something happened to you."
Lucas sits qiet actually going through the work. He takes a lot of notes and kepps cross-referencing back. He's also not shy about verifying possible answers. He murmurs, "Steve; Prom Ruiner." Look he actually does want to go even if he's colossally dragged his ass on it. He pauses and looks up to Justin and around and back to him. he's serious though and that might be the scary part for him. Anyhting cared about hurts when it's taken away. In his experience that's what almost everything does.
He can hear Landon's voice in teh back of his head from the other day pausing and saying, And yet.... Right. Quietly he adds, working to keep it casual but it's really...it's not. "We were all supposed to take refuge at teh Reed house. Lan Thea and I didn't but... you hear what happened?" Who doesn't hear Spear pontificating in the lunchroom? Thumb itches his lower lip before he takes a drink of the soda and focuses back to teh pool table edge over there, "I know I've been...I've been bad at talking until like," He rolls his eyes, "The day of, right. But I mean on one hand? Silence lets people like that do things unchecked. On the other hand they threatened to seriously hurt and or kill the people we care about so like," His jaw tightens and he looks back, "Everything is weird and scary right now man. We need to make it to USC. You me and Landon. I don't want to be the guy that screws up your future."
"I've heard the rumors.." Justin admits with a bit of a shrug. "I'm trying to keep my head down, I don't want to give them any reason to yank my scholarship, and the crazy parties I've been hearing about?" He shakes his head slowly. "I'm fortunate enough they're giving me a chance even though, you know, I'm out and everything. It hurts my chances of even having a professional career.. so.. I have to prove myself the good choice every other way I can." It's the reverse of how things normally are between the two, this time Justin unloading his worries and concerned on Lucas.
Lucas gives the bottle a swirl in his fingers and listens. When he's not plotting or trying to figure out how he can profit off a thing or if something is a potential threat to he and his? He really does listen. The walls against the guy are staggering and Justin's gone from the beginning to stand up to them. Frankly it was that level of brass on the kid that impressed him to speak up for his teammate in the beginning. Behind that kid fighting to always BE the better example when people try to tear him down? Well that's something the twins can relate to.
He squints and replies in a quiet objective tone, "Yeah. Think that's something we've both known. We grow up and people don't wanna like what we are. I mean Lan and I grew up in he wrong place, wrong name. You are everything the sports world is afraid of and there's a lot of people who do not want to see us succeed. That's why... I guess we fight so damn hard to be perfect before the eyes of those that try to judge." His jaw taps at an angle and he doesn't intend to look to the direction of his Uncle's office way, way somewhere.
He catches himself doing it and looks back to Justin with a bit of encouragement. "You're braver than about anyone else I ever met, man. They can come for ya," A sharp tooth grin forms on the sly conspiring, "They gotta catch you first. Like I told Doug winters, he can be pissed that you're gay OR that you are burying him in points but pick the right battle." Shaking his head he murmurs, "And he wonders why he's graduating on JV."
Looking to his notebook he asks a question he's been waiting to ask and took too long to do. "Are you okay? I mean I know you got a couple offers sitting, but I mean ... you prepared for all... that?" because that's also bait to be a swarm of media coverage and it's only now occurred to him in a couple months the guy's life is going to change pretty hard.
Justin looks at the soda bottle in his hand. "I also don't want to be a symbol. I just want to play the game." He looks over at Lucas. "That's why I told you you need another plan. I have to have another plan. I need to make sure I get my degree and can have a life. I could tear my ACL to shreds, or I might be blackballed from playing just because I happen to like men. I've been thinking about this for well over a year, and if I can think of a back up, so can you." He reaches over and puts his hand on Lucas' shoulder.
Lucas really doesn't care for those rules. Some people like Justin and Morrison have a very come at me world approach to opposition and then there's Lucas that hunkers into the sand like a rattlesnake or a manta to lay in wait and strike back. He isn't going to tell him he's wrong when the oversight of ever being disowned again never seemed like a threat. now this gang and their Uncle could and can change everything.
The tension drops from his shoulder and a slow nod of reassurance follows. "I, um, I talked to our brother. About that. After we talked." he gestures to Justin and himself as opposed to the several other 'we' combinations. "We're going to talk to our cousin to to get alternate plans set up and Morrison promised so long as we keep our grades up we'll be able to find a way to make USC happen." Nervous? Eh a little because the immediate future is terrifying but right now is an alright little oasis from that. He needs the normalcy and not think of being taken down like a rabid animal, being turned into one of those cannibals, and worst? That look of hurt and fear on his twin's face that may never leave him for the rest of his days. It's been incredibly sobering to say the least. "Yeah well if you want to fall back to guidance councilor you'd make a killing. Besides, I figure you are one of the many people I know that will benefit gradely from a lawyer can can fight some of those battles for you and you know I like winning." Looking down to his leg he blinks and looks back up, "You do not want me as your surgeon. If you tear the ACL I got nothing. Well, there's an icepack and a recliner. That I do have."
"See?" Justin grins happily and picks up his donut off the plate, and takes a bite out of it. Though after a moment he gives Lucas a funny look. "Why do you need to be doing something for me for me to want you around? You don't need to be my lawyer or my doctor or whatever. You're my.." There's a moment's pause as he doesn't say the word he wants to say, not knowing how Lucas may react if he did add boy- to the beginning of the word he does use. "Friend. Can't I just have you around because I like having you around?" He leans in a bit closer, trying to catch Lucas' eyes with his own.
Lucas quirks a tiny expression and for the briefest of unrelated moments he sits upright like a rabbit hearing a coyote in the distance, or some level of alarm. There's a pause and he draws a deep breath relaxing the tension in his shoulders murmuring, "He's Kay." Landon. Sometimes there's a feeling when there's something that might register as distress. Possibly a nightmare.
His what? Oh this is usually the part in the script where Lucas suddenly runs cold again right? The conversation relaxes and his fingers push his hair back curious if anyone's nearby, not that it seems to change the trajectory of his response at all. "Growing up we were taught being in someone's back pocket is a bad thing. Growing up I mean making sure hings are level or if someone owes a favor means it's really hard for them to dick you over. Either way very rare in the world is anything free so..." An expression makes for a curious depression back to Justin not mad or really demanding anything, "Outside of Landon that's honestly hard for me to remember to do. I know. It's messed up. Lose your people enough times, I guess... we just get over careful."
He looks down at the donut and back up and argues with a wry grin, "And maybe I like doing these things, okay? inda enjoy getting to be a jerk to jerks. Balances out my...karma or whatever Esme calls it. But I don't have to. You didn't ask me to, but...I can and I wanna and telling me no is usually prety futil so..." often to the detriment of others but he leaves that off. "But what the hell, we're going to survive the summer, let these Painkill parasites go get bent, and get on with making our ow rules, right? There's a plan and if we stick to it... once we figure out precicely what it is-" that part is muddy, "It'll be fine."
"I'm not going to turn down your help if you want to offer it." Justin says levely, "I jut don't want you thinking that's why I want you around. I just like having you around." He's staring right at Lucas now, his eyes not wavering as he watches the other teen, considering something. He's acting like he's handling a spooked dog, will it bite, will it accept attention, or will it run off. Lucas has done all of that to him in the past and it's clear he's not sure which is going to come next.
Finally Justin works up that last little bit of courage and places a hand on Lucas' cheek, trying to guide his attention to himself so he can steal a quick kiss. It's nothing long, just a light peck of the lips, but they're alone and not at school for once.
Lucas has been, since they met, pretty dreadful. He bolts when things get too good so he can't invest too heavily anything that is inevitably impermanent. Because history says that's near everyone. Some 'detached is a life never disappointed' bullshit. Lucas always comes back when Justin starts hitting that low though. Some things even he's not callous enough to walk away from but where does this leave them now indeed?
And then that gesture that has Lucas sitting frozen watching Justin as his brain works to not have a short plotting against plotting plotters who plot. And then there's a kiss that is simple in ever aspect and isn't. He doesn't pull away or shove him. The world isn't save, it isn't certain, and maybe Justin's right and this is just one thing that could be good. Why is this the other thing he's afraid of? And why is he worrrying about it right now? His open hand reaches out to rest on top of Justin's and leans into the simple affection. Drawing a deep breath he's silent for a time, maybe jsut a second in reality. His hand squeezes the other's as some sort of assurance that the world did not suddenly, and abruptly end. "I lie having you around too. I'd like... to make sure we survive this so maybe we can do that. If, ya know that's something that's cool with you." There's so something else there he's not saying. It can wait. This part is important too.
"We'll be away at college." Justin says as he pulls back, and resumes his seat a little closer to Lucas than he was before. "You won't have your family looking over your shoulder all the time, either of them. You won't have to live up to what they want. You can just be you." He picks his notebook back up and slides it back into his lap. "And if we're both there.. I know I'm twisting your arm about prom. But I really want to give us a chance." He grins a bit wryly as he picks his soda back up for a sip. "I'll even ask Landon's blessing if that makes you feel better?"
Lucas ha a small smile and he admits, "Hey, to be fair our brothers are cool, and our cousins are a very... passionate people." Our. Always our and never my with Lucas. When Justin mentions asking Landon's blessing that factoid seems not to go overlooked at all drawing an amused grin pulling some of the brash bravado back into his soul. "Never hurts. I'm... working on something for him too. If my brother's not asked Esme to prom yet I might have to smack him with his own pillow."
Lucas leans back slouching into the couch looking down at his notebook in his lap. It's actually really good progress and not just criticisms on how he could have ruled Rome better! He slouches his shoulder against Justin's and mulls over the rest, "Nah, I mean, I'm not going to be mad about people doing what they have to do to get what they want. Compliment really." Messed up compliment of sorts, but it lands. "Justin?" He looks over with a concerned look and with more deliberate intent gives his hand a squeeze and says "I'll make you a deal but... I'm going to need you to trust me on something and I know-" He winces chagrinned at the bad road he's laid previous in this area, "I know that's asking a lot, but I'm serious, man." A great deal has sobered him considerably. At least it's not flippant agreement.
"Esme, huh?" Justin looks thoughtful for a moment. "Have you tried dressing up as him and doing it for him?" He looks Lucas up and down then shakes his head. "Too bad you're not identical, it'd make that plan work better. Good thing, too. I wouldn't know what to do if there were two of you." After the success of the kiss, he grins softly as Lucas leans up against him, and lays his own arm along the back of the couch. Not across Lucas' shoulders, he doesn't want him bolting like the rabbit he could become, but the next best thing.
Though at those words he does cast a sideways look at Lucas. "I trust you if you give me your word." He says softly. "I know you'll keep that. You may usually leave yourself a way to squirm out without breaking your promise." It's a blunt but not untrue assesment. "But, let's hear this deal."
Lucas snickers and shakes his head, "Were we not fraternal? I might. Nah, I want him to do it. Sometimes, we just have to do...a thing." He pauses and tacks on with a squint, "And I told her she might consider comign to USC too. I mean if it doesn't work out there is a sea of people and a beautiful beach ON that sea and she'll be fine. But... ya know... it might be... something that might be good and I don't... " His jaw sets and he goes back to his casual selfish tone because it's the easiest to work with. "Well, I mean I don't like sharing, but If it'll make him happy, and it doesn't compromise his own path? Maybe? Maybe it's possibly teh right call. If not? Well it's not in stone."
When he's stone cold called out he just squints in response to teh sideways look. There's a slight wince as he pinches the bridge of his nose, "Based on what I'm about to tell you let's... hope that's not a thing. Yes, you have my word to the best of my ability, okay?" Another deep breath but looking more alert and awake as the day is leaning later. The back of his head drops on the couch. He stares at the ceiling and rolls a side look oto him and says, "So these people, this Fran and her infuriating Painkiller crew, that are after us; the same that attacked the Reed house? Attacked Mr. Bloomquist our newspaper teacher who was there. He...he lived. They started making demands and those of the, um, people affected by this thing, like Lan and I, that were there said no deal. Soooo they made if very clear that they're going... they're going to go after the people we care about." His hand still has a tight squeeze as if to emphasize the point even if the words and expression are entirely calm. "I know it sounds like BS. I wish it was. I wish this was some fantastic spin or something I could feel soooo clever about later but the truth is some stuff is going on, a lot of people are in way over our heads, and I-" There's a pause and he frowns statring to sit upp and making every effort to keep the comment casual and pragmatic, "I don't want you getting hurt. I witnessed what they will do, and ... I can't man.I mean I don't want it to be anyone but I'm trying to mitigate risks best I know how." He'll never unsee them tearing Brenda apart. He doesn't want to try to scrub the image of that happening to anyone else, much less his people.
Justin runs his fingers through Lucas' hair when he leans back. Just an idle gesture he doesn't even mean to do, he just does. "I know something hinky is going on. I'm not blind, I'm just trying to avoid getting wrapped up in it myself." His tone is even and soft, accepting of the words Lucas says to him. "And.. well, I can't say that's exactly the reason I saw you wanting to keep anything between us secret until college, but I'm willing to go along with it. As long as when it's just the two of us we can be.." He shrugs. "Like this, I guess?"
"In public, you're just my teammate and friend. I mean, I wouldn't even pick me as the top of the list to go after to get to you. It'd be Landon. And if I was trying to upset both of you? Morrison. Though I pity anyone that tries to pick a fight with him. Dude's freakin' scary."
Lucas nods slowly, satisfied with the math. There's a pause and the looks to him bewildered, "Why you say that? Now granted," His hand goes up but doesn't swat his hand away from his hair and lets the solace be that for right now. And he points out what he meant, "Well... yeah. Sorry I thought you were going to start talking smack about yourself which would make me sit up and amke you wear that other donut. but... nah they want Landon too." The comment about morrison pulls a toothy grin, "Morrison's awesome. He first taught Lan, Squid and I how to ball ya know. Also helped teach us how not to get wailed on in elementary school." His eyes open a smidge, amused, but still pacified, "We were kinda hellions once upon a time. We used the tools we had to work with."
"Why would I talk smack about myself? I'm awesome." Lucas isn't the only one that could do with a little humility, Justin smirks. "Well, I guess my math grades could use a bit of work, but other than that? Nope, I'm golden." He flashes his teeth in a cheery grin that settles into a relaxed smile. "He's kinda cool, but he scares me." Then in a more teasing tone of voice. "Once upon a time? You still are."
Lucas lets that smirk grow into a cocky grin, "Uhhhhh yeah you are because I have really, really good taste, all those really, really bad life choices aside." At being told he's still a nightmare- is he...is he preening? Yup. He still hasn't figured out telling Landon. Landon who always knows these things before he knows them and is hardly, if ever, surprised. Justin wasn't offbase about talking to him though. That'll happen. "Thanks for taking all this crazy stuff serious. It keeps getting weirder and it's been a lot to try to manage, so I appreciate you being cool and reasonable about this stuff." Because he might have to pick his brain for uncrazy sounding ideas too.
Justin shrugs. "I know enough of you to seperate your made up crazy from your real crazy. You have a tell when you're lying." He just drops that out there like it's no big deal. Or maybe he said it just to get a rise out of Lucas, because he finds it amusing to do so. "Well, if you want my reasonable opinion? Do what you need to do to stay safe. It'll all blow over eventually, right? You just need to make it to then."
ROLL: Lucas rolls brains+1 for: : x1 : x1 : x1 : x1 : x1 -- Match Value: 0 (Raw: 5 1 2 8 4 -- d8)
Lucas sits very, very still. He blinks. He replays all of his greatest hits through his head from passive nuisance, dismissive comments, and how very carefully matter of fact he's been. Hell he even goes as far as reviewing the ugly side of his personality he picked up from living with Lesters which is that look, singularly, when he's pissed and might be able to scare someone so bad they try to change schools. Okay he's not what one conventionally calls a 'nice guy'. Aside from playing senior class social chess?!
He blinks again and is seriously trying to figure it out. As per his usual serious self he decides, "Well... once I figure out what it is I'll have to fix that before I take the Bar Exam." Way to play him, Michaels. He'll be trying to figure this one out for days. "Well, the good thing about being under house quarantine is that this is the house to do it in. But yeah we just have to make it to the other side. hopefully we can figure out how everyone can too. I just got this... I got this feeling that it's going to get worse before it gets better and I hate that feeling."
Oh yes, Justin has a sly little grin on his face knowing he just upended Lucas' week, now it's just finguring how long it will be until it drives him crazy and he just asks. It'd be almost mean if Lucas' didn't deserve a little mean pranking now and then. "Well, I'm always willing to come over and keep you company, if you want. I'll bring something other than donuts next time. Fruit smoothies?"
Lucas is so going to be off for the rest of the week. Enjoy that becuase it'll come back around. Both eyebrows go up at teh offer to just come over and hang out more often, "Yeha that'd be cool, just..." Oh how to break it to him. "Soooo this side effect hitting with our health? It's like totally bottoming out my iron man and it's leaving anything sugary kind of... feeling off." But he ate the donut and drank the soda anyways. "I swear to Christ the only thing sweet I can endure right now is you, and your wit's acerbic enough to take the edge off." And we're back to the normalcy of returning slightly barbed backhanded compliments with a grin.
"Burgers then." Justin says, totally not bothered that his current offering may not have been up to par. How would he have known? "Can't go wrong with a good burger, unless you're turning vegetarian on me, then I'll have to get rid of you." He sighs and looks down at the book in his lap. "We better get back to the actual studying or I'm going to have nightmares about being chased around Rome by Caligula." He scrunches his brows. "That was the really insane one right?"
Lucas replies drily, "No I'm not turning vegitarian. The whole point is to avoid joining a weird cult." His head rolls. Yeah the break, admittedly, was nice. he real battle is bringing his GPA back up. They both have to go back to being scholastically bulletproof in order not to lose backing from their investors. In an odd sense, while stress ful, makes for some good company. NOW! Crazy imperious rulers? This gets interest back to Lucas' Machivellian mind with a grin, "yeah that's the crazy one narrowly in the lead of his nephew and successor, Nero. That I remember from teh movie. Seriously we should sit down and watch Titus. It's way messed up. Can probably get Mr. Thistle's recc on a copy of that too." He flips forward to where he was reading up the other night and goes into what they have to look forward to with Nero and start debating which one might be more insane than the other. Sadly student textbooks leave out the really gooey bits. Thank you Encyclopedia Britannica for filling in those gaps though.