They all settled down in the small side tunnel, all of them ready to rest.
Castor sat opposite his brother, their boots knocking each other's as a way to let the other know they were there.
"I'm proud of you," Castor signed and Pollux's face flushed, causing Castor to laugh silently.
"Glad I could be of use," Pollux signed back.
Castor kicked Pollux's foot gently.
"You were of use before we ever came down here," he signed, "No one gets shots like you do. I'm not proud cause you were useful. I'm proud cause I know how scary it is for you to come down here, but you did it anyway. I'm proud cause you're my brother."
Pollux smiled genuinely this time and Cas knew he's got through to him. Five years of abuse, torture, and loneliness, Pollux was still learning to value himself. And Castor would never stop reminding him of all his worth.
"Get some sleep," Castor signed, "We'll be out of here soon."
Pollux nodded and closed his eyes, keeping his boots closely tangled with his brother's. Even down here, Pollux knew he was safe so long as Castor was nearby.
Castor tried to sleep. He was exhausted and it should have been easy. But it wouldn't come. Any time he closed his eyes, he could just picture his brother down here, sad and alone. Scared.
He could remember the day Pollux was taken like it was yesterday. He could see the fear on his brother's face as he was dragged off by Peacekeepers; could hear his own heart pounding in his chest. He could still hear his and Pollux's screams mixed together, calling for each and both full of fear at the unknown to come.
Five years. It had taken five years to get Pollux out of the tunnels. Five years for him to see the sun; five years for Castor to see his brother smile again.
They hadn't seen each other properly in all that time. Avox weren't allowed families. He was a slave, property of the Capitol. Castor would sneak down to the tunnels sometimes, just to get a glimpse. He'd always made sure Pollux saw him too so his brother would know he hadn't forgotten him; he'd know Castor was fighting for him.
And after five years they'd done it. They'd bought his way out of the tunnels. The brothers had found ways to see each other still. It wasn't easy, Pollux was still a slave. But now Castor didn't have to go sneaking around the sewers.
Then he met Cressida…
She and Castor had worked together a few times and he considered her a friend. She as different to most people in the Capitol. He eventually told her of his brother, an Avox, but a good man. A boy really, since he'd been dragged off so young.
He told Cressida of those five years and how they'd bought his freedom from the tunnels. How Pollux now worked as a cleaner above ground which was better cause now he could see the sun.
He told her he missed his brother.
A week later he'd been called to her office. The blinds were closed and the door locked when he arrived. He knocked and she ushered him inside, closing and locking it again.
Castor stopped dead and who he saw inside.
"Castor, I believe you know my new cameraman," Cressida said slyly.
Pollux was sitting in a chair by Cressida's desk, his eyes just as wide as his brother's. Castor looked at Cressida, tears in his eyes and she smiled at him.
"What are you waiting for?" she asked, and Castor laughed, taking two long strides and dropping to his knees in front of his brother. He took Pollux's face in his hands, hardly able to believe he was here.
"I missed you," he choked out and Pollux dove at him, almost knocking Castor over with the force of his hug. Castor laughed wetly, squeezing Pollux back just as tight.
"I never thought…" he trailed off, pulling back slightly to get a better look at his brother. "Is this even real?"
He turned to Cressida, "How did you…?"
"I have my ways," she shrugged, "You two are going to be working together, think you can handle that?"
Both brothers nodded, laughing and crying together.
"Thank you," Castor said, "Cressida, thank you so much."
Castor came back to himself in the tunnels and looked around
Cressida was watching him and she quirked her eyebrow curiously.
"Thank you," he mouthed, and she tilted her head to the side, clearly asking 'for what?'
Cas looked at Pollux and then back to her.
She smiled in understanding and shrugged.
They were in the middle of a war, and anything could happen, but Castor would be forever grateful for any time he got with his brother. Even if it was spent in the sewers.
Thanks for reading!