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» Be Careful What You Wish For, [sebastian]
Maddox Riley
 Posted: Jun 7 2012, 02:49 PM
[QUOTE]
Student
339
posts
16 Years
Male
5'10"
164 LBS
District Ten
7-June 12 • 1605 Moneys

Ellie


Maddox stood on the sidewalk, staring at the enormous house in front of him. He had never been to the Victors' Village before; he'd never had a reason to come here. He didn't know any Victors, wasn't friends with their family members, though he went to school with a couple kids related to them. Some kids who lived in this house, if he remembered correctly. He wondered if they'd be home...if they'd think it was weird, him coming here.

It was pretty weird, he had to admit. It had been a long, winding road that had brought him here, and this was the last place he had expected his search to end. It had just been a project for school, something simple for everyone else--but nothing about researching your family's genealogy was simple when you were adopted. Madd had never been all that curious about his life before he'd come to live with his parents--it hadn't been much of a life, anyway. He'd been four--what sort of life could a four-year-old have? So he had largely just left his past alone and lived his life; he knew he was incredibly lucky to have been adopted at all, much less by people as wonderful as his parents. Madd had never wanted for a thing in his life, despite the hardships many citizens of Ten faced. Digging around in the past was not only unnecessarily, but it also felt to him like inviting bad karma. So he had left it alone.

Until this project. It had been easy enough to trace his parents' family trees--he knew all those relatives, anyway. They were his family. But for the first time in his sixteen years, he suddenly felt compelled to know more about where he had come from, not just his parents. It had been a difficult subject to broach with them--he didn't want to appear ungrateful, after all, but they had been incredibly understanding, as they always were, and had actually even helped him start looking. It had been a short search, actually--everything about his adoption was well-documented, and though he'd had to cut through some red tape, he had gotten the information he needed to satisfy both the project requirements and his own curiosity.

And then some.

The true search had been the one he was on the verge of completing right now. He didn't know why he felt compelled to meet this other boy, but he had instinctively gone looking for him, as soon as he realized the connection. It had taken him nearly a week, actually, just to find someone in his own district. The boy wasn't at home, and his parents had slammed the door in Maddox's face--a first for Madd, who was not used to doors slamming at all, much less because he had knocked on them. He'd been forced to ask kids at school, to listen to gossip, to talk to shopkeepers in the square. When he'd heard the same rumor enough times, he'd decided it might have a grain of truth to it. The boy he was looking for was supposedly here, at one of the Victor mansions, living with the Arcadia family for whatever reason. Madd didn't care about the reason--he just cared about the result.

He walked up the front stairs and hesitated again in front of the door. What was he doing here? He didn't know. What did he expect from this? He didn't know. Why would this boy ever want to talk to him? He didn't know. He just knew he had to at least try and talk to the boy who had gotten to be Orsino's brother, when Maddox hadn't.

Maddox reached up at last and knocked on the door.

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Sebastian Gates-Kava
 Posted: Jun 7 2012, 03:15 PM
[QUOTE]
100.C Games Champion
239
posts
19 Years
Male
5"8
155 LBS
District Ten
13-April 12 • 270 Moneys

Jimmy


Sebastian had settled in somewhat by now... Or, well, as settled in as he could be given that he just slept in a spare bedroom downstairs, had most of the things that had any value to him or Orsino, and took to the bow and arrow perhaps a bit too much. He wasn't sure how Orsino would have liked to see him with a weapon, but he knew it was not good... And he had to stomach that thought too.

It's been three days now, Seb. Get a grip.

Something told him that he never would quite get one either.

He'd stayed at the house that day. He felt too weighty - too ready to either start hurting himself or someone else to be of any use as a courier. He would get back to it tomorrow. Tomorrow, when the seconds passed more and more time where someone he loved no longer walked the earth - or breathed this air - or saw this world.

He was playing with the wristband again. Two of them. His and Orsino's. He played with Orsino's wristband more - for it had him on it, in a way. That was a comfort.

It was when he heard a knock on the door that Sebastian answered. Probably mail. Or someone for one of the Arcadia's. He was a temporary guest in the home, as far as he was concerned. Sure, some knew where he was now, knew that he was here... But this did not mean it was anything close to a home.

He pulled open the door, catching a glimpse of the boy. Familiar, from school - but only in passing in the way that someone might recognize a person that always hung out in a certain hallway with a certain group of friends or someone that was always running to catch a certain class. That kind of familiarity - a face, not a name.

"Morning. If you're looking for Cara or Xavier... I think Cara's doing some things and I can get her for you, but I don't know where Xavier is." The boy did look about that age. Fifteen, sixteen. So he was probably for one of them. Maybe Bolt? But they would just go to the office if they were looking for him, Sebastian supposed.

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Maddox Riley
 Posted: Jun 7 2012, 03:41 PM
[QUOTE]
Student
339
posts
16 Years
Male
5'10"
164 LBS
District Ten
7-June 12 • 1605 Moneys

Ellie


Maddox shifted nervously as he waited for the door to open, adjusting the strap of the bag he was carrying. He didn't know why he'd brought all his research with him--maybe he was just being a bit paranoid, as though Sebastian would demand proof that he was who he said he was. He didn't know why it would matter; who would lie about something like that? There wasn't anything to be gained by it--or at least, nothing that Maddox was looking to gain, anyway.

He wasn't sure anyone was going to answer the door, and he was about to raise his fist to knock again, just in case, but then he could hear the sound of footsteps and locks being flipped. The door swung open, and there was a boy standing there, a boy he vaguely recognized. That wasn't strange--he and the other people in this house went to school together, so even if he didn't have classes with them, he had probably passed them a million times in the hallway without ever knowing it. The problem was, he didn't know who he was looking at--was this one of the Arcadias? Or was it Sebastian?

Madd broke out in a smile anyway--whoever it was, he was glad to see them, glad they had opened the door and that he didn't have to stand awkwardly on the front step in the unfamiliar neighborhood. He stuck out his hand to introduce himself, but the other boy beat him to it. As he spoke, Madd's smile faltered a little bit; he wasn't disappointed to have supposedly found the person he was looking for, but more...anxious.

"Actually," he said, clearing his throat. "I'm not looking for Cara or Xavier." Those were the Arcadia kids, he knew...and unless they had a third, secret brother or a live-in cousin, then he was supposedly talking to Sebastian Blackwood. "I'm actually looking for...well, for you, I think. If you're Sebastian."

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Sebastian Gates-Kava
 Posted: Jun 7 2012, 03:56 PM
[QUOTE]
100.C Games Champion
239
posts
19 Years
Male
5"8
155 LBS
District Ten
13-April 12 • 270 Moneys

Jimmy


Sebastian's eyebrows furrowed a bit at that. Him? Maybe more people had been talking than he had supposed... Maybe he should have expected that. He did know a lot of people in Ten, for what that was worth, and Orsino had been getting a lot of talk too while in the Games. It was more than possible that he had been figured as one to talk about to - as he had been the one that the boy talked about.

But why would this bring someone to him? "Yes, I'm Sebastian. If it's about delivering something for you, it'll have to wait until tomorrow, but otherwise..." He shrugged. "It's not something about deliveries, is it?" He was almost sure of it as he leaned a little against the door, fingers fidgeting with the wristband now. He felt strange standing here with a boy he had not met before. Not formally anyway. He wanted to invite him in - but that felt odd when this wasn't really his home and... well, he didn't know why the boy had even come here to begin with.

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Maddox Riley
 Posted: Jun 7 2012, 04:08 PM
[QUOTE]
Student
339
posts
16 Years
Male
5'10"
164 LBS
District Ten
7-June 12 • 1605 Moneys

Ellie


Maddox wasn't sure what it was Sebastian was talking about. He let his outstretched hand fall back down to his side, clutching protectively around the bag that held his folder. He certainly didn't need anything delivered...nor did he know exactly why Sebastian was delivering things. Perhaps it was part of the family business--but it seemed the other boy had left his family. Or...something. He was fuzzy on the details, and there were parts of the rumor mill he would rather not take seriously, so he had not yet really tried to piece that all together. Sebastian was at the Arcadias'; that's all he needed to know.

"No, it's not about deliveries," he said, shaking his head. He hesitated; he had planned everything up until this point except for the obvious, glaring thing he should have planned: what to say. What did you say to the foster brother, friend, and...more...of a half-brother you'd never known you had? Would Sebastian even talk to him about it or would he, too, slam the door in Madd's face?

He hadn't come here for nothing, though he wasn't sure he had come here for something, either. But he was here, and he had to offer some kind of explanation. He couldn't just turn around and leave again.

"It's...about Orsino, actually," he said after a pause. "He's...he lived with your family, didn't he?"

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Sebastian Gates-Kava
 Posted: Jun 7 2012, 04:16 PM
[QUOTE]
100.C Games Champion
239
posts
19 Years
Male
5"8
155 LBS
District Ten
13-April 12 • 270 Moneys

Jimmy


Sebastian paused at that, surprised and then suddenly steeling himself. Why would a boy come to this door to ask about Orsino? Part of him wondered if it was to rub it in - to emphasize how much he wouldn't be seeing of the boy for days and weeks and months and years. To emphasize the guilt that rose, fell, and crashed within him like the waves in District Four during a bad storm.

"Yes. For about four years." He offered this much easily. With himself so guarded, could he offer more? Probably - piece by piece, and little by little... Sebastian could. But why would this boy want these pieces. Why would he want to know them? He could not fathom it because even his paranoia of being made a mockery seemed faulty. No, it had to be something more substantial - something else...

"Why do you ask?" Could this boy be a messenger of his parents - a reminder of what they believed had happened and what they believed was wrong? Not that it would matter much now - there was no Orsino to be legal or illegal with at this point. That thought seemed a bit like a punch to the stomach, but he rolled past it. He had to - for Orsino - for himself.

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Maddox Riley
 Posted: Jun 7 2012, 04:49 PM
[QUOTE]
Student
339
posts
16 Years
Male
5'10"
164 LBS
District Ten
7-June 12 • 1605 Moneys

Ellie


Four years. Maddox hadn't spent any time in the foster care system--at least, not any time that he could remember--but he knew that was a long time to be with one family. They had thought, when he met with the social workers, that Orsino had been there a while, but the woman Madd had talked to wasn't sure if he had still been with the family when he had been Reaped. He'd been eighteen, after all. So it had been a bit of a gamble going to the Blackwood family, anyway...but the way Orsino had talked about Sebastian in the arena made Maddox pretty sure that even if he had been on his own, there was still some kind of relationship there.

Why did he ask? Madd still wasn't sure. He had just felt the need to...to bring some closure to this quest he had begun, and there was only one person who had both known Orsino personally and was willing to talk to him--or at least, willing thus far. Maddox was, after all, still on the doorstep. Perhaps he just wanted the chance to learn things about the one person he was related to by blood. Madd had never had a brother--even a half-brother--and he would never have the chance to get to know the boy himself, not now.

"This is going to sound crazy," he began with a wan smile. "But, um...I'm his brother. Half-brother," he amended, but in Maddox's mind, what was a little blood on one side? He didn't have any other blood relatives he could claim, besides his mother, who hadn't exactly wanted to claim him. "I just thought...maybe you could tell me about him, I guess."

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Sebastian Gates-Kava
 Posted: Jun 7 2012, 05:02 PM
[QUOTE]
100.C Games Champion
239
posts
19 Years
Male
5"8
155 LBS
District Ten
13-April 12 • 270 Moneys

Jimmy


For a minute, Sebastian paused. Brother? No, half-brother. He surveyed the boy for a moment. It was certainly possible, after all. Orsino had been in the foster system - and this boy was younger. If they had a parental difference, that would mean that they were sent in at different times... At least, if this boy was fifteen or sixteen, as he was thinking. So, it was possible. Probable? No.

A small part of him wanted to kick and scream - suspected that it was a joke to toy with him. But why toy with him? What could be gained from it? Anger and hatred, maybe, but nothing more. This kid had to be... real, in some capacity. The resemblance too, while not strong, was there in small things. They did only share one parent after all, but Sebastian could see the similarities that were given to them both.

"All right... umm... come in," He gestured to the room and let the boy in before closing the door behind him. For the moment, he led the boy to his makeshift room. Better there than anywhere else where others could stumble in and hear, he supposed. "Questions, first. How'd you make the connection?" Still in the hallway before passing through the door, moving now just to a part of the room to toy with an odd rubik's cube he had gotten Orsino some years ago. Back when it was still like pulling teeth to even get him to say more than 'please' and 'thank you.' "And... what do you want to know?"

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Maddox Riley
 Posted: Jun 7 2012, 05:28 PM
[QUOTE]
Student
339
posts
16 Years
Male
5'10"
164 LBS
District Ten
7-June 12 • 1605 Moneys

Ellie


Madd waited patiently as the boy seemed to consider what he'd said. He didn't blame him for the way he regarded him; if their roles were reversed, he would probably have been more than a little suspicious of the claim he'd just made. He was sure the tribute from Ten was getting a lot more attention than he would have normally, having made it so far and for his disease as well. It had to be obnoxious for his family, and that included Sebastian.

When Sebastian invited him in, however reluctantly, his face split into a grin. "Thanks," he said as he came inside and followed the boy off to some room. He couldn't help but look around the house as he followed Sebastian; Madd's parents weren't poor by any means, but their house was nothing like this place. It was...intensely huge. He didn't know under what circumstances Sebastian was staying with the Arcadias' but he couldn't help but mentally commend the boy for his choice of house.

He glanced around the room they walked into; it was clearly a guest room, with some personal things strewn around, rather than someone's own bedroom. He wanted to ask how it was the other boy had come to stay at one of the Victors' houses, but...that might be too personal. He hadn't come to pry into Sebastian's life, after all.

He was, however, glad he had brought his folder with him once Sebastian asked how he made the connection. "I brought some stuff with me," he said as he opened the flap on his messenger bag and pulled out the folder. It wasn't overflowing with information, but it had copies of all the key documents he'd discovered on his search. "If you want to see...just records from my adoption...I met with some social workers who found me stuff about Orsino's families...and my original birth certificate." That had been the document that piqued his interest, actually--they had had it on file at the Justice Building. He hadn't known then what he was uncovering by figuring out his original last name, but by then, Prep Week had already begun, and it wasn't exactly one name in a million anymore.

He faltered at the second question, shrugging after a moment. He didn't know what he wanted to know. Everything. Anything. Whatever Sebastian wanted to tell him. "I know some things, I guess," he said. "From watching the Games...I got an idea of what he was like, I guess...was that what he was like at home? The way he was on TV?"

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Sebastian Gates-Kava
 Posted: Jun 7 2012, 05:49 PM
[QUOTE]
100.C Games Champion
239
posts
19 Years
Male
5"8
155 LBS
District Ten
13-April 12 • 270 Moneys

Jimmy


Sebastian considered the boy carefully before nodding. "Umm... can I see them? The papers, I mean?" He believed the boy - there was no reason to be making this up, after all... But there was just a safety in seeing it. A safety in knowing that this person was real and not just pulling his leg as part of a insensitive, cruel joke right now. Maybe in a few months, he'd laugh if it was a joke. But right about now... anything about Orsino was treading on thin ice. He'd have to remember that around this boy too or... Or he might let his guard down too much.

"As for Orsino, he was..." He paused, pressing his fingers to the top of the desk as he put the rubik's cube down. "Yes and no. He was like that, but it normally took... weeks to get him to talk about anything personal to anyone. Shy, you know, and not exactly the greatest with people." He shook his head after a moment, pressing his fingers to his brow. "Not that he wasn't friendly. Just... awkward, in his weird way. I swear, he didn't know how to communicate sometimes." His voice had gotten quiet as he spoke, pondering carefully the words.

"At the feast... when he asked someone to help him peel that orange... I think that was about the closest you get to him if you were to initially meet him, you know. The rest is..." He paused, his words faltering as he carefully tried to navigate around the possibilities of his own tears. "I think he was doing something mentally to help himself talk like that, though I can't guess at what." No, Sebastian could guess at what and, in the pit of his stomach, knew it to be true too. How had he not seen that at the Justice Building?

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Maddox Riley
 Posted: Jun 7 2012, 06:04 PM
[QUOTE]
Student
339
posts
16 Years
Male
5'10"
164 LBS
District Ten
7-June 12 • 1605 Moneys

Ellie


Maddox was only too glad to hand over the folder he'd brought. He was actually rather proud of his file; it showed a lot of work, a lot of diligence and dedication to find out where he really came from. He hadn't started this quest to find himself or anything--no, Madd was pretty confident in who he was as a person. He had just been curious, and he generally acted on his curiosity. He just happened to have uncovered more than he had ever thought he would.

"Sure, here," he said, opening up the folder and holding it out to Sebastian. "The stuff on the left, that's my stuff. Birth certificate, adoption records, information about my birth mom...on the right, that's the stuff they gave me about Orsino." Granted, they had been nice enough about it, the social workers, but he'd been glad he had looked into his own origins first; he and his parents had had to go through a hell of a lot of red tape in order to get access to his half-brother's records. But Madd had wanted to know everything he could about the boy on TV, even if it was just old black and white records. Perhaps they even felt a little bit bad for him, finding out he had a brother only to have to watch him in the arena--but Maddox wasn't the one they should have been pitying.

His natural smile came back on as Sebastian started talking about Orsino, about how he was quiet, sometimes awkward. He had talked enough in the arena; Madd wouldn't have known he was shy just from watching. That was new information, something the social workers couldn't tell him, and he filed it hastily away in his brain. But his exuberance dimmed a bit as Sebastian's tone changed. It was clear to Madd that this wasn't easy for the other boy to talk about. There were...rumors going around. He'd heard people talking about the sort of relationship the tribute from Ten had had with his foster brother, about the things he confessed in the arena, while he marched towards his death. Madd wasn't one to judge, nor to buy into gossip...but he wondered.

"You guys were...close then," he said, more a statement than a question. Anyone who had watched the Games and had heard Sebastian talk just now would have assumed the same thing.

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Sebastian Gates-Kava
 Posted: Jun 7 2012, 06:38 PM
[QUOTE]
100.C Games Champion
239
posts
19 Years
Male
5"8
155 LBS
District Ten
13-April 12 • 270 Moneys

Jimmy


Sebastian took the file and looked through it carefully. There were some records on the boy. Maddox Riley was his name, it seemed, legally. Birth certificate, adoption records, some things about Orsino's mother - their mother. Orsino had more things - mostly records of being shuffled from foster family to foster family, with some records of when he stayed in the group home. But there had to be at least eight families total, including his own... Not great odds on staying together a long time, it seemed.

"Yes, we were." He said as he put the folder back together as it had been - or as close as he could make it - before handing it back to the boy. "In our own way, I suppose." He vaguely remembered being mistaken for something a bit more than friends - and definitely not brothers - a few times when they got into fights with each other in public. Apparently, they definitely did not fight like friends or brothers.

"We're... We were complicated." He pressed himself to saying that, forcing himself to say it like that. Orsino was dead. Present tense, while a technicality, would only make this all much worse later. It made it worse now, even, as his stomach churned at the small admittance of such truth. He glanced around before snagging up the rubik's cube again, just wanting something to say other than talking about their relationship. Or never-relationship, rather.

"He liked puzzles like these." He held up the rubik's cube. "I'd get them from the Market for him when I could pool enough money together." He glanced around the room. "Actually most of these were his." Many were ones he had gotten for Orsino - some were from other friends or from his parents.

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Maddox Riley
 Posted: Jun 7 2012, 06:59 PM
[QUOTE]
Student
339
posts
16 Years
Male
5'10"
164 LBS
District Ten
7-June 12 • 1605 Moneys

Ellie


As Sebastian paged through the folder Maddox had brought, Madd couldn't help but glance around the room. It was nice, but plain nice, like...like a guest room. Which is what it was. But there was a collection of stuff on the desk that he assumed was Sebastian's. A bunch of toys, it looked like. He wondered vaguely what the guy was doing with so many rubik's cubes and puzzles and weird little boxes...was he a collector? Why else would he have so many, and in so many different varieties, if they didn't mean enough to him to actively collect?

Maddox knew a thing or two about collections, himself.

He glanced back up when the boy handed him the folder back; he took it gratefully and put it safely back in his messenger bag. That file had taken him a lot of work, and he didn't want to go leaving it just anywhere...even if just anywhere happened to be with Orsino's other brother. Or whatever Sebastian was.

Complicated was what they were, in Sebastian's words. Maddox took that to mean there was some truth to the rumors he had heard when he was looking for Sebastian...and he supposed it would make sense, what with everything Orsino had said in the arena. This wasn't just a boy his brother had lived with, but a boy his brother had loved.

His attention was drawn again to the puzzles as Sebastian held one up. They were Orsino's then, and knowing that piqued Madd's interest even more. He reached out instinctively to take the little cube from Sebastian and then pulled his hand back in mid-reach. The boy probably didn't want him to touch the stuff, or, well, Maddox didn't know him well enough just to do it without asking. "I'm no good at puzzles," he said with a wry smile, deflecting. "Guess it's not genetic."

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Sebastian Gates-Kava
 Posted: Jun 7 2012, 10:52 PM
[QUOTE]
100.C Games Champion
239
posts
19 Years
Male
5"8
155 LBS
District Ten
13-April 12 • 270 Moneys

Jimmy


Sebastian scoffed a little, a bit of laughter in there for probably the first time in days... weeks, even, given that it had been so hard to smile after Orsino had come back home with that particular bit of news on that dark day. It felt like an age ago - but only a little more than a month. "No, not in genetics, though you smile a bit like he does." That was awkward to say, especially after what he'd already said about them being... complicated.

But then he paused. "Actually, genetics... Hmm..." He moved away from the desk and grabbed up his backpack, pulling out an odd book from it. It was like one those textbooks they had in school. He flipped to a bookmarked page quickly. "Chronic myeloid leukemia, also known as chronic myelogenous leukemia." He didn't read over the symptoms - the boy didn't need to know that. "It's caused by a mutated gene that processes in your blood that tells it to make more white blood cells than it needs. They don't grow and die like normal white blood cells and... uhh... that creates a lot of problems with being able to make other things for your blood that keep you alive." He placed the bookmark back into it and held the book out to Maddox.

"Take it and get your blood checked every... six months or so, I'd suggest. That kind of cancer takes awhile to develop and symptoms apparently are really slow to happen, but if you're right... and it looks like you are... Then you might face a similar issue if it's a gene that your mom passed on to you both." Sebastian shrugged after a moment. "There's no way to prevent it, really, I think... But I know the doctor that lives here is nice. Bolt Arcadia. He's nice, at least, so I expect he'd help you if you explained things." He knew that it was a one in a million chance, probably that this boy would have the same problem too... Especially since they had no idea if it was passed on by the mother or not or how such genetics worked. He did not want to scare him, but rather wanted him to be made aware. This... definitely could be a problem for him.

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Maddox Riley
 Posted: Jun 8 2012, 12:10 AM
[QUOTE]
Student
339
posts
16 Years
Male
5'10"
164 LBS
District Ten
7-June 12 • 1605 Moneys

Ellie


Maddox's face split into a broad grin at the other boy's comment; he smiled kind of like his brother. That might have sounded stupid and insignificant to someone who had had a brother--but Madd had never had anyone tell him he looked like his mom or his dad or his cousin. It was a novelty he liked. "Really?" he asked, his attention entirely distracted from the puzzles. He suddenly had a bunch more questions--but before he got a chance to ask them, Sebastian was mumbling something about genetics and reaching for a book.

Madd's smile faltered a bit as Sebastian started to read something out of the book...about leukemia. Of course, Madd knew Orsino had had cancer. All of Panem knew that by now--they'd watched him struggle with what might or might not be symptoms in the arena, they'd heard him discuss the reasons he had volunteered. But to be honest, Orsino's cancer was the last thing Madd wanted to know about the boy. So he was a bit confused as to why the medical jargon.

Until, that is, Sebastian held the book out to him and told him to get his blood checked. The pieces slowly fell into place--like he had said, Maddox wasn't very good at puzzles. He took the book slowly from the other boy as the realization sank in. He had gone digging in his past, and he had found a lot more than he expected...this was just of the things he'd have to deal with now. It felt...it felt like it was a bad thing, like he'd stirred up something dark by delving into things better left alone. But he knew that despite the ominous feel of the news, that what Orsino had had Maddox could have as well, he knew it was better to know. So at least he had an idea what he was up against...so at least his parents...

Oh, shit. He was going to have to tell his parents. Another fun conversation to look forward to, as if he hadn't pushed them far enough lately.

"I will," he said gravely, or as grave as Madd could really sound. "Thanks."

He stowed the book away in his bag along with his folder and then glanced a bit awkwardly back up at Sebastian. Madd was usually pretty good with conversation, but this was an entirely new, unheard of situation. He glanced around instinctively again, being in a new place, and the question fell from his lips before he'd even really thought about it. "How come you live here now?" he asked. "You friends with the Victors?"

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