Daedalus was angry, possibly the angriest he had ever been. They were try, and fail, to take away the training center. He had established himself as the one true leader, the only one who knew what he was doing down there. Who did they think they were, questioning his position and his skills? Mayor Fairchilde was lucky that he didn't kill her where she stood and his sister....the less said about their "talk", the better. It was clear that she would benefit from Daedalus' removal from the training center, but that wasn't going to happen. He knew Rosetta wouldn't dare go behind Daedalus' back and try to usurp his position. Well, she wouldn't if she knew what was good for her. He could count on Rosetta not to turn on Daedalus, like his sister would and like their mayor had been hoping. They would need to put Daedalus in prison again or put him six feet under if they wanted that training center back. It wasn't his fault that the tributes who volunteered for the games never stuck to their training that he had worked hard to bestow upon them. They always thought they knew better than Daedalus and look where it had gotten them. Perhaps one day, one of the tributes, save for his daughter, would actually listen to their mentor, someone who had actually won the games. If Monarch or Danae took over, they were just going to run the training center into the ground. Then they would become further embarrassments, because that's what was going to happen. They would just make a mockery of everything he had built throughout his career.
He was quick to return to his home as soon as the train pulled into the District One station, silent for the entirety of the trip. There was training to do now, not tributes, but his own. It was the best way to get all of this anger that had built up over the last couple of days before he did something like murder another set of Peacekeepers. Instead, he would turn to his private training center at his home with Aurora. She wouldn't turn on her own father and he would kill anyone who came to talk to her about such a thing. If anything, once Daedalus decided to step down as the head of the training center, Aurora would be the one to take over. Although, Daedalus couldn't see himself stepping down until he absolutely couldn't do his job competently anymore. Then, unless something else happened that took him out of the picture earlier, she would take over her father's position. Aurora was the only one capable of taking over for Daedalus, she had been training under her father ever since she had come into his life. In a perfect world, Aurora and Felicity would be leading the training center upon his retirement. Unfortunately, that would not be a possibility and it was his own fault. Daedalus constantly had that on his mind, the only death he was responsible for that actually weighed heavy on his conscious. The gamesmakers would get what they had coming to them for what they did, that much was certain. They weren't going to get away with their slight against Daedalus and his family. He would get his revenge, even if it was the last thing that he did.
When he got back to his home in the Victor's Village, the door was nearly taken off it's hinges as he pushed it open. One of his avoxes came to greet Daedalus, but immediately turned around and turned tail before it could be spotted by him. "Aurora!" Daedalus called out as he took off his jacket. "Downstairs, NOW!" he yelled as he stormed towards his training center. The door was pulled open and downstairs he went. He rolled up his shirt's sleeves slowly as he made his way towards a weapon's rack, pulling a knife off of it immediately. When Aurora didn't come immediately greet her father, he threw the knife across the room before he started back upstairs. He stormed through the house, heading upstairs to his daughter's room. "Aurora!" Daedalus called out again, looking for his daughter. She usually responded immediately when summoned by her father, but today she wasn't. He already wasn't happy with how things were going, he didn't need any of this right now. An avox emerged from Daedalus' bedroom and was grabbed immediately by the victor. He lifted the avox up off the ground, gripping its uniform tightly, glaring into the avoxes' eyes. "Go find my daughter or I will toss you over this railing." threatened the victor, holding the avox closer to the railing. Daedalus released the avox, shoving it away from him so it could go find Aurora. "Find her or they're going to find you dead." he said over his shoulder. The avox scurried away quickly, hoping to avoid invoking the wrath of Daedalus.
Her father had been gone for what felt like an eternity, though for the first time it seemed a quiet, peaceful forever. The training center was empty as the hopefuls that had aged out dispersed, the mentors flocked to the Capitol, and the young spent their time obsessively following the Games. For the first time in a long time Aurora had the space to herself, an empty home to return to, and time as free as her whim allowed.
The young woman took to reading books and taking over the cooking from the Avox, humming in long baths and relishing the almost meditative quiet of the training center, studying a form of fighting that involved only defensive movements in circles. When the hours grew long in the late evening, and she was out of little things to keep her busy, she would lie on the couch and mourn her sister, blank gaze fixed on the ceiling as she tried to process the slow, cold ache of sadness that had crept into her bones when the Gamemakers had twisted the rules and sent her home in a wicker casket. There was more to it than just the empty, sudden loss of her other self; the thing that hurt most, though she would never say it out loud, was that Felicity had been better, Felicity had gotten to fulfill her destiny and without her Aurora had been left behind with nothing. The years crept by and more and more the girl felt like a drifter, no real parents, no real purpose, no real home. Training had left her with no childhood friends but Felicity. Everyone her age had been placed into jobs and allowed to flourish in whatever lives the Capitol had guided them into, while Aurora had dedicated herself to the blood, sweat and tears that was the training center, loneliness, and her father.
On a night just as quiet in the Dzagoev home as it had been for weeks, Aurora finally grew so disquieted that she decided to do something she had never done before; she ventured into town. It was still relatively early, and every place she passed was either closed or packed with people, music reverberating through the sidewalk and patches of smoke floating in the stiff summer air. There was something uncomfortable about the walk, though she blamed it on the denim shorts and cotton blouse, fabrics that were inflexible and heavy compared to her life spent in spandex. Finally she passed a row of windows that looked the most welcoming, less neon and slightly more rundown, but worn in a way that looked comfortable. Stuffing her hands into her pockets she entered the bar, weaving through tables to the long stretch of polished wood, trying to take in all the people without looking lost. Sidling into a stool she hooked her ankles together and tried to look like she had done this before, waiting for the bartender to wandering down to her.
For the next, most uncomfortable, half hour of her life she sat and sipped at some foul vodka thing, the only drink she had ever heard Rosetta order, 'on the rocks with tonic' whatever that meant. The merry atmosphere bounced along around her until she grew bored of it, contemplating paying and leaving, when a man about her age slipped into the gap between her and another stool, waving down the bartender. It took her a second to place him, as his features had polished out over the years from cherub like youth to the scruffy, tan thing he was now. He cast a glance over his arm at her, aware that he had entered her personal space, and was halfway giving her a courtesy nod and gesturing to the crammed bar as justification, when recognition hit him. A jovial smile lit up his face, and he twisted around to clap her on the shoulder. "Holy shit, Aurora - look at you. It's been years." The young woman laughed, returning the gesture in earnest. "Little Bo Lovinton, not so little any more, huh?"
They joked with each other for several minutes while the bartender worked his way to them, reminiscing about their time spent training together. They had been in the same age bracket, and Bo - short for Borealis - had become whatever semblance of a friend one could make in the Center, if even just for the joke of their names. He was an ice sculptor now, one of the many ex-Careers that had accepted his rejection from the Games and went on to enjoy the things a normal life had to offer. When the bartender swung by with his drink, Bo ordered another one for her and pulled her from the stool. "Nobody should drink alone, welcome to the gang."
Bo's friends were young and lively, a more diverse cast than those one would find in the Center. The hours slipped by and Aurora and the jeweller, a lanky young lady with dark curly hair, had all but declared themselves long lost lovers. The apprenticed leather-worker had challenged her to an arm wrestle and lost spectacularly. Bo taught her to blow smoke rings from his pipe, and the watch-maker had already made plans with her for the following Saturday to watch their favorite Capitol show together. Aurora laughed until her cheeks were fatigued, the world outside losing all life as she kept the company of her new friends.
In the very latest part of the evening, the bartender ushered the group out into the street, and they parted way for their homes, taking the long way around the blocks to wring every last second of the night. On one corner Cherish, the watch-maker, whisked away with a mischievous grin and quick farewell, leaving Bo insisting on walking Aurora home with a chivalrous fist in the air. Even though Victor's Village was quite out of the way, Aurora didn't discourage him for she herself was dreading the return home to her empty, silent house after such a vibrant evening.
At the door he kissed her with all the recklessness that they had battled with as teens, and in her bed he was thoughtful and giving and as they sun rose they talked about his eldest brother who had been struck down so quickly, about Felicity and Daedalus and their place in the universe and what it all meant. They fell asleep smiling and woke up in sheer terror as Daedalus' voice ripped through the walls.
Scrambling for clothes Aurora followed him out of the window, shimmying down gutters and the neat overhang of the back porch. Bo grinned as he kissed her goodbye, Aurora nearly throwing him off the bluff that their sprawling manor overhung, looking over the city. Creeping in the back, busied herself at the stove with the kettle, seizing her portable music player and jamming the phones over her ears so that she might look less suspicious for not answering her father. A panicked Avox hurried into the kitchen, fully aware of what had been happening the night before, confused at her and Bo's disappearance from the bedroom and knowing full well that if Daedalus found out what would happen to both of them. Raising her eyebrows at the speechless manservant, Aurora pulled one side of her head phones off and dropped a tea bag into her mug. "Dad..!?" she called, nonchalantly as she set the kettle on the hot burner.