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 turn up the fakes and lies (just answer me) - {P}

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sakura haruno
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PostSubject: turn up the fakes and lies (just answer me) - {P}   Sun Apr 30, 2017 6:40 pm


it was three in the morning and ashi couldn't sleep, so she was doing what she did best: train. it was always her fallback when she was uncertain of where she stood, and while with each thud of her fists hitting the punching bag brought a sense of calm, of knowing, there was a subtle uneasiness behind each strike. there's a sense of wrongness there, a constant state of confusion and unanswered questions.

the thing about growing up in a cult is that even once you leave, you still don't know right from wrong. you get out into the world and realize, 'oh, shit, everything i know is a lie,' and, 'the world is actually a nice place,' but there's still the high priestess's -- her mother's -- voice in the back of ashi's mind every second she takes a break, whenever she takes a moment to just pause and breathe.

she's there even now, telling ashi that she's weak, telling her she should go and kill while everyone sleeps, that she should enact revenge for the rest of the campers being lazy and not finding the seven daughters of poena before six of them could die.

with a loud grunt she hits the punching bag a final time, breaking the chain holding it up and sending it flying back into the wall. "i'm not weak, mother," she snarls, gasping for a breath. she just wants to sleep.
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PostSubject: Re: turn up the fakes and lies (just answer me) - {P}   Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:28 pm


Ever since the Incident, Rowan found it hard to sleep. So for the past couple days, she wouldn't get to sleep until very early in the morning. Thankfully she was already taking the week off. Things were too complicated in her life right now to be able to conduct drills and keep legionarres from making out in the stable stalls. She wasn't even planning on coming back to camp until her sabbatical was up.

She had decided to go jogging. She found it easier to sleep afterwards. Plus it was a good way to get her brother and her father off of her mind. Especially after having to spend the day deliberately thinking about them. Her morning was spent at the hospital, getting together plans for transferring her brother into hospice care back home. Her afternoon was spent at the police station, going over the details of that night again and again. What time did she get there? Who punched first? Did she stab her father before or after he lunged at her? How long did she wait to call the police? She had told them everything that she knew, and by the end she was emotionally drained. Still, she could not sleep.

She had made her way over to camp, not really intentionally. She was just going where her feet took her. That was when she noticed a light on in the bath house. Legionarres weren't supposed to be up right now. If she wanted to she could just ignore it and move on, but she figured she might as well do one of her centurion duties for the week. Rowan walked into the bath house, and kept walking to the gym area. She was just planning on telling the person to go back to bed and then leave, but she paused when she got a view of who it was. It was one of hers.

Rowan approached carefully, so as not to startle Ashi. Although she was startled herself when the punching bag went flying. "Are you alright?" Rowan asked, leaning against one of the marble columns.

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PostSubject: Re: turn up the fakes and lies (just answer me) - {P}   Mon May 01, 2017 8:10 am


maybe the high -- maybe her mother is right, maybe ashi has grown weak, because she hadn't even heard someone else enter the gym where normally she'd be hyper alert to someone entering her space. she startles at the sound of the voice. 'are you alright?'

she turns around quickly, still short of breath but ready to defend herself if necessary, only to see the centurion of the second cohort. ashi had only been at camp for a week when she had left due to unforeseen circumstances that left a mountain of rumors in her wake, rumors that ashi had largely ignored. she never was one for gossip.

but even with rowan on leave from her duties, ashi still knew she could get her in trouble for being up and out of the barracks this late. she silently curses herself for turning the light on; she's trained in the dark before. the moon itself was more than enough to see by, but of course she had to turn the stupid lights on. her mother's voice cackles from the back of her head.

"i'm fine," she says, her shoulders tense and eyes narrowed. "just...couldn't sleep." she hadn't told anyone of her upbringing, did her best to hide her confusion when something common baffled her. no one knew, and she wasn't planning on anyone finding out. what was her's was her's alone.
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PostSubject: Re: turn up the fakes and lies (just answer me) - {P}   Mon May 01, 2017 5:57 pm


Rowan nodded at Ashi's explanation. She had a feeling that maybe that wasn't the whole story, but she wasn't going to press. Rowan could've just sent her off to bed, but that probably wouldn't fix the issue. Sometimes rules were made to be broken.

Rowan walked over to the row of punching bags that stood at the side of the room. She picked one up and approached Ashi, hanging it up. She held the bag steady, and nodded for Ashi to continue. After all, maybe it would keep her from breaking another one. She used to do this all the time for her siblings. Not as much anymore, since two of them had already left the legion. It occurred to her, with her father gone, all of her home training sessions were over. It was kind of a bitter sweet realization, since that was the place where she bonded with her siblings. On the other hand, she wasn't going to be missing her father's yelling.

"When I can't sleep," Rowan started, "I run. Sometimes I'll do five miles in a night. Run from the edge of New Rome all the way to the field of mars and back again." She figured this was the best way to break the ice. Just start talking. Whether or not Ashi wanted to join in was up to her.
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PostSubject: Re: turn up the fakes and lies (just answer me) - {P}   Mon May 01, 2017 6:33 pm


ashi tenses up when rowan just hangs up another bag and offers some mundane advice. she was breaking the rules. ashi's never broken a rule without a severe punishment. she knew things were different here, but it was hard, catching on to how different they are. she almost misses the sense of normality of knowing breaking the rules led to severe beatings for the sake of knowing.

almost.

she keeps her eyes narrowed and senses alert as she starts hitting the punching bag again. "you're a centurion," she says, and she feels kind of stupid just stating the obvious, but she's confused. "aren't you supposed to be sending me back to bed?"

her muscles are starting to ache. she'd been sneaking out nearly every night, too restless to sleep. it was either the softness of the mattresses paralleled to the hard ground she normally slept on, or mother snarling in the back of her mind. or sometimes it was the image of her sisters, bloodied and clawed up by that f*cking hellhound. she wishes there were actual monsters to practice on. she wishes camp didn't feel so safe. she doesn't know how to wear herself out without the risk of death underneath everything she does, dodging arrows in the dark and jumping from stalagmites, trying not to fall to her death.

she shouldn't miss it, but she does. it's the itch of routine, feeling like she's not doing enough constantly scratching at the back of her mind. even knowing that everything she was taught was a lie, ashi still feels like she has some obligation to train.
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PostSubject: Re: turn up the fakes and lies (just answer me) - {P}   Mon May 01, 2017 7:21 pm


Rowan shrugged, "Sneaking out isn't the problem, is it? Its that you can't sleep. Why force you to go back to the barracks and lay awake until sunrise? That won't fix anything." Truthfully, in most situations Rowan would just send them back to bed. She was always known for being a hard ass. Maybe that was because it was all she really knew. Her father was never soft on her. He pushed her until she couldn't go any farther. But what did that get her? Sure, she may be a centurion, but was that because she wanted to be, or because she was pressured into it.

So, she decided to do what her father never did. She decided to be soft. She wouldn't want to be sent to bed if she couldn't sleep, she'd want to get her run in. If this is how Ashi slept better, who was she to stop that?

The sound of the punches against the bag filled her head. Suddenly she thought back to that night. Her father hitting Liam until he couldn't get up. And then turning on her. Rowan just gripped the bag tighter. Now was not the time.
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PostSubject: Re: turn up the fakes and lies (just answer me) - {P}   Mon May 01, 2017 10:29 pm


she knows something has to be off, because everyone had told her rowan was one of the strictest centurions at camp. that suited ashi fine; she could handle strict. she knew relentless like the back of her hand. but this...she's got no clue how to handle this.

she would have kept punching, but she noticed a splotch of bright red on the bag after one hit, and then another, and then another. ashi stops and glances down at her fists. her knuckles are cut open and bleeding from the traction of the bag. she hadn't even noticed the pain, so caught up in the rhythm of hitting the bag. even now she doesn't even notice the pain, only acknowledges it because she sees it with her own two eyes.

"oh," she says stupidly. she'd forgotten to put on gloves before starting, and mother's voice rings cold and cruel in the back of ashi's mind. 'you've grown soft, ashi. you're weak, ashi. you should have died with the rest of us, ashi.'

she means to continue training, keep pushing herself until she can't and the weariness bleeds through the adrenaline, but the longer she stares down at her bloody knuckles the more she notices how her bones ache. she stumbles backwards until the back of her knees bump the bench behind her, which she promptly collapses onto, gasping for breath.
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PostSubject: Re: turn up the fakes and lies (just answer me) - {P}   Mon May 01, 2017 11:13 pm


Suddenly the punching stopped. Rowan looked around the punching bag to see Ashi with a bloody hand. Rowan was used to blood, but now was one of those times when there shouldn't be blood. She had been so tired she hadn't noticed that Ashi wasn't wearing gloves. Rowan abandoned the punching bag, rushing to Ashi's side.
"I think thats enough of the punching bag for tonight." Rowan said, examining her hands. "Wait here a second." Rowan stood up and jogged back to the baths, returning shortly with one of the white towels. Getting a closer look at her, Rowan noticed the bags under Ashi's eyes, as well as some older bruises. Nothing too unusual for a new arrival though.

"You're probably going to want some ice for that." She commented, handing over the towel, "maybe have a healer take a look at it tomorrow." Rowan herself was no stranger to injuries. If she wasn't getting them from training, it was a survival challenge, or lately, surviving getting shot, going on a quest, or fighting off your psycho father. It had been a long month for her. She had an idea that Ashi's month wasn't a walk in the park, either.
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PostSubject: Re: turn up the fakes and lies (just answer me) - {P}   Tue May 02, 2017 10:08 am


ashi swears quietly under her breath, trying to drown out the sound of her mother crooning 'weakling weakling weakling,' in the back of her head, telling her she isn't supposed to break she can't relent she needs to fight and hurt and why did you stop you idiot girl you were always the weak one always the broken link in the chain you've doomed us all you've abandoned your purpose.

but then rowan's rushing to her side, telling her she needs to stop and no one's ever said that before, except for maybe her sisters during training, but that was always met with the high priestess - with mother, mother, she's the priest of nothing and ashi needs to stop it - telling them to embrace the pain, that it will make them stronger.

she takes the towel from rowan and says, "i'll be fine. i can handle it," brushing off her suggestion of seeing a healer, and then, haltingly, "thank you." people like it when you thank them for things, she's learned. it's weird.

it's still only a dull ache, barely even registering that she should be in pain. she'd been training for hours, first archery, then agility, and then the punching bag. she'd been doing this for two weeks. ashi should be exhausted. she knows this. but she's not, can barely even take a second to acknowledge the pain.
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PostSubject: Re: turn up the fakes and lies (just answer me) - {P}   Tue May 09, 2017 11:19 pm


Rowan nodded at Ashi's thanks. She could feel that something was up with the whole situation, but this was not the time to pry. Many people that came to this camp had just come from bad situations. Whatever it was that was bothering her would come out in time. Truth always had a way of getting out here. Some truths were worse than others. She had experienced good and bad.

"How have your first couple weeks been?" Rowan asked. She knew that she hadn't been around for most of her time here. Turns out Rowan had just escaped a bad situation of her own. She was safer now though. Happier, even.
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PostSubject: Re: turn up the fakes and lies (just answer me) - {P}   Thu May 11, 2017 12:22 am


she glances at rowan out of the corner of her eye, not doing a good job at hiding her suspicion. if anything, mother never taught them to be subtle with their emotions, so long as those emotions were negative. negative emotions can be used for anger, anger can be used for strength. it always came back to fighting.

"it was fine," ashi says slowly, still staring at rowan from the corner of her eye, hair falling in her face. she's certain rowan's planning something, going to spring on her at any minute, and ashi mentally curses herself for training so hard earlier. she can still fight if necessary, but the gods know it'll be difficult to do with bloody fists.

(not that she cares about damaging herself more, not that she cares about the pain. what else is a weapon to do if not fight?)
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