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Aeterna Roma RPG

Slip-up at the Ludus Magnus


Rufus
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August 76

 

It was rare that Rufus was sent on an errand by his master; he was his master's personal attendant and errnads were generally given to house-slaves to run. This one had been deemed important enough to dispatch Rufus himself, though, and he was glad of the little bit of freedom to leave the house and take the message, which was for the lanista of the Ludus Magnus.

The only reply he'd been told to wait for was a 'yes' or a 'no' (and Rufus' master being who he was, the expected and only acceptable answer would be 'yes') which answer he'd received. He was on his way home and hadn't managed to get very far when he had to move out of the way of a litter that was being carried along the street with little regard for the pedestrians already in it.

He hastily stepped backwards and, as he did so, caught his foot on the edge of a pothole caused by a missing paving stone and went down, hard. It was a moment before he could gather himself, and look down at his ankle, which was throbbing. He hadn't heard or felt anything break, but there was a definite swelling at the joint, and he sucked in a breath.

mehercle but it hurt!

 

@Chevi

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Theo was heading to the Ludus Magnus for a long day's work when he saw the accident. The slaves carrying the litter pushed a red-headed young man out of the way, and he tripped in the uneven street, going down with a cry of pain. The litter moved on, neither carriers nor passengers paying much attention to the commotion they caused, and people kept on milling about their business. People tripping on the cobblestones was not exactly a newsworthy event in Rome.

"Are you alright?" Theo stepped up to the young man, looking at his ankle, which seemed to be swelling. "Did you twist your ankle?"

@Sharpie

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"I don't - yes." Rufus bit his lip as he tried to get up, only to find that he couldn't put any weight on his ankle because it just hurt too much. "It hurts," he added, unnecessarily. How was he supposed to get home like this? Litter bearers - snooty idiots at the best of times, they were probably only carrying some senator's bratty kid to school.

There wouldn't be anything else for it; he'd have to take a carrying chair home and feel like some ridiculous foreign dignitary or something and probably get an earful for acting above his station.

"Would you mind helping me up?" he asked - one thing at a time, after all. His ankle was well and truly swollen by now, too. Great.

 

@Chevi

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It had been a question to make polite conversation, because Theo could see that ankle already swelling. It was clear the redhead was not going to walk on it anytime soon. He was a slave, he must have been on an errand, but it was no use to anyone to try to force him to walk.

"I don't - yes. Would you mind helping me up?" 

"Not at all. Here." Theo held out a hand, and helped the man up, supporting him with his shoulder. "Were you just coming from the Ludus? I'm a medicus there. We can go back and I'll take a look."

@Sharpie

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"I was - I have to get back to the Palatine, though gods know how I'm going to manage that now, short of borrowing Hermes' winged helmet. Or possibly Pegasus," Rufus said, grateful for the other's shoulder to help him balance. He was a medicus - that was a stroke of luck - although... "I don't know if I ought to accept, I wouldn't want to cause a problem."

And there was the question of payment, of course - Rufus couldn't afford a medicus, and while he didn't think his master would begrudge payment for someone to treat his slave's sprained ankle, it was still an imposition.

"I wouldn't mind a sit down and the chance to look at it properly, though," he added. At least, given a few minutes' respite, he could maybe come up with a workable plan - and if he only got advice for how to look after it, that would be better than being an unexpected cost to anyone.

 

@Chevi

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Theo helped the redhead up and out of the way of further litters and pedestrians. Not many people in Rome cared much about bumping into someone, especially if they were a slave.

"I was - I have to get back to the Palatine, though gods know how I'm going to manage that now, short of borrowing Hermes' winged helmet. Or possibly Pegasus,"

"Well you are definitely not walking" Theo noted, heading back towards the doors of the Ludus. Before taking a better look, he would not know anything for sure, but walking was probably out of the question.

"I don't know if I ought to accept, I wouldn't want to cause a problem. I wouldn't mind a sit down and the chance to look at it properly, though,"

"No problem at all. There are no games today, so there should be no new injuries to attend to..." he reassured the man with a small smile. "What's your name? I'm Quintus Flavius Theodorus. You can call me Theo."

@Sharpie

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"It's a bit far to hop there, too," Rufus said ruefully, and managed a grin, though it was pinched thanks to the pain of his ankle. "I'm Rufus - you can call me Rufus. 'Oi, you' works, though you get a whole bunch of people turning round. 'Oi, ginger!' narrows it down a bit - oh!" He sucked a breath through his teeth as his ankle was jostled just the wrong way.

He was very grateful for the help; he didn't think he would even have made it this far on his own.

He took another look at the man helping him; the name didn't mean very much - a lot of people took the Emperor's name when they became citizens if they were granted citizenship in a bunch or for some other reason; it didn't mean that he was an Imperial freedman. He looked like he might be Greek - but that was backed up by his being a medicus.

 

@Chevi

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"Rufus, then" Theo smiled. He knew people did not always address slaves by their name, but he was not the redhead's owner or master, and besides he liked to call people by their name rather than yelling. Unless they were being unreasonably annoying, but Theo was a patient man. "Careful."

They managed to get back to the ludus, and Theo headed to his workshop, helping Rufus sit down as they got there. He opened the windows and the door, letting the morning light in, and then found a stool for Rufus. "Here, put up your foot. Let me see."

@Sharpie

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"I am trying to be careful, it's my foot. Even if I do have another one on the end of my other leg," Rufus said, trying to remain cheerful despite the pain. It was only a minor inconvenient injury, not a life-threatening wound, after all. He'd probably be off his feet for a bit, or limping around at least - he could hopefully manage most of his usual work without inconveniencing his master too much. He might have to borrow someone to help out for today, though.

It couldn't be helped! Everyone out in the streets ran the risk of getting shoved out of the way, especially if they were slaves or poorer citizens.

He sat down and rested his foot carefully on the provided stool. The joint had swollen magnificently and he sighed. "I'm sorry to be a bother," he said, though he was reassured by the other's earlier statement that there was no demand for Theo to treat any wounded gladiators today. "I'm not usually as clumsy as this!"

 

@Chevi

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Theo chuckled at the comment about the other foot. It was technically true, but it did not help much under the current circumstances. Luckily, the injured ankle did not look broken or torn, just badly twisted. Theo examined it, touching it gently and moving it a little.

"I'm sorry to be a bother. I'm not usually as clumsy as this!"

"I believe you. It was more the litter's fault anyway" he nodded "Well, the good news is, it's not broken, or anything serious. But it is hurt." He moved to the table, dipping a clean cloth in water that had been kept cold in a stone jar. He carefully wrapped it around the ankle "There. You need a bit of rest."

@Sharpie

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Rufus tried not to wince or flinch as the medicus examined his ankle. He was trying to be gentle, but even the gentlest of touches in the wrong place hurt because it was so tender.

"Litter-bearers - overbearing pushy sorts at the best of times," he said with a shrug. "I suppose because their passengers are too important to deign to walk anywhere like the rest of us mere mortals. and yet simply must get to the market to buy a length of fabric for a new dress, or whatever." At least the ankle wasn't outright broken, though being able to rest it would be almost as likely as for Rufus to grow wings and fly. "I'm a slave, there's not much chance of being able to rest it. Not for very long, anyway."

And saying the words out loud would surely make the other aware that Rufus couldn't pay for his help - and most medici wanted payment for their time and knowledge. If this one didn't, he'd be the only one in Rome!

 

@Chevi

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Theo did what he could for the ankle, but there was not much he could do for the rest of the man. The redhead seemed pretty upset about being run over by a litter, which was completely understandable.

"Litter-bearers - overbearing pushy sorts at the best of times I suppose because their passengers are too important to deign to walk anywhere like the rest of us mere mortals. and yet simply must get to the market to buy a length of fabric for a new dress, or whatever." 

The medicus chuckled. Rufus definitely had opinions, although that might just have been the pain talking. He moved to the table, pouring some spiced, unwatered wine that he usually used for occasions like this.

"I'm a slave, there's not much chance of being able to rest it. Not for very long, anyway."

"Well, if your master wants you to do your job well, they will have to cut you some slack" he observed. He handed the cup to Rufus, giving him a questioning look. "If you overexert your foot, you'd hurt it more. Do you think... they would accept that?"

@Sharpie

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