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Mid-February, 77 CE

By the Gods, he had not thought his afternoon would have turned out quite the way that it had. If he did, he would not have ventured out of his humble insulae. The commotion of the marketplace had drawn him out, the need to find something to replenish his food stock and something that he could eat. The people moved around as if they had little else more to do, their eyes browsing wares that they could or could not afford.

Gaius moved through the crowd, awkwardly however, for his height was sometimes made point for him to be gawked at like a slave for the market. He was not a slave meant for the market, nor would he wish upon himself such a fate. He enjoyed the freedoms that he had, even whilst not a Roman citizen. However, it had not been long until presently, he was hurried being guided through the market with a child in his hands - bloodied and bruised from a fight that he had intervened in. "Stay with me." He barked, out of breath as he shoved past a couple of other plebians who had not seen a rather large man barrelling towards them as he made way towards the closest known medicus that he had been pointed towards.

It had past his attention that he had, in fact, ran headlong into the Gladiatorium grounds; his eyes wide and searching. "I need a bloody medicus now!" He raised his voice, enough so that he could be heard over the roar of the audience, his eyes going back down as he checked that the child was still breathing.

Just.

Instead of waiting, Gaius proceeded forward - swatting hands away of the guards who attempted to stop him. He was not allowing this child to die with such dishonor.

"Find me a medicus or so may the Gods help you." Gaius snarled, as he braced himself, trying to prevent his sandals from slipping as the guards attempted to take him back through the door.

 

@Chevi
(OOC: I hope this works, please do let me know if you need more to work with.)

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There was a commotion at the gates of the ludus. Theo only half paid attention to it; in a building full of professional fighters, something was always going down. Until his services were needed, he didn't usually bother to check what.

"I need a bloody medicus now!" 

Well, that did not narrow it down.

Theo sighed, putting his reading aside, and poking his head out of his room. If only they asked nicely, every once in a while...

"Find me a medicus or so may the Gods help you." 

The man yelling, however, was not a gladiator. Or one of the lanistas. It seemed to be a stranger, struggling with the guards. A man of remarkable size, holding something to his chest. He looked threatening, but Theo was not in the business of turning people away if they needed help. He hurried out of his room to take a closer look.

"Stop!" he called to the guards, trying to usher the man out. "What in the gods' name is going on?"

@Faustus

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He had been struggling, his legs were tiring soon enough as he fought against the guards. The child in his arms had been the sole reason he had been standing in the Gladiatorium in the first place; perhaps it would be better if he were on his knees begging.

But Gaius did not beg.

It was undignified.

Just as he were about to do something rash, something idiotic, a voice sounded out - calling the guards to cease. It took a moment but rough hands slowly peeled off him as he was left standing; sweating, child cradled as they parted. "I was told this was the closest place to find a medicus." He gestured with his head towards the child, thin as a twig; his complexion bruised and his head and nose bleeding, unconscious. "Please. Help him."

@Chevi

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The guards let go, and Theo could see now that the large man was holding a bloodied child. Theo was moving towards them even before he said the words.

"Let him through!"

"But..." one of the guards started. but Theo pushed him aside.

"I don't give a shit if they live here or not, it's a child you moron. This way." He turned, showing the way to his workroom. He could see bruises and blood, and the child looked unconscious. Hopefully not dead. But he needed to know more. "Is he yours? What happened?"

@Faustus

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"Finally, someone who has no wool between their ears!" He near breathed a sigh of relief if it weren't for the pressing matter.

Gaius walked through once the guards had allowed him to pass; side-eyeing each and every single one of them on the way as he followed the man through to his workroom. Gently, he would lay the child down on a table; his arms had long since cramped and the fatigue creeping in as the adrenaline faded. "No, the child is not mine. I found him in the marketplace, having chased away a group of older boys. Is he going to make it?" It was only now that he wondered who the child's parents were, and why they were not with him in the marketplace - however, knowing that he used to have a propensity for running off, it was likely that the boy had a mind for adventure and had wanted to explore the marketplace for himself.

"Is he going to make it?" Came the question again, his usual bitter and jaded nature giving way to something more emotional and concerned. Gaius did not want to go and find the boy's parents if he died, it was a conversation he was best left out of.

@Chevi

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Theo was not often rude with people, but some emergencies took priority over politeness. Once the guards let the man through, Theo led him to his workshop, and they laid the injured child on the table. This time of the day, light was pouring in through the window, and Theo had positioned the table so he would be able to see well while he worked.

"No, the child is not mine. I found him in the marketplace, having chased away a group of older boys. Is he going to make it?"

The boy had been beaten up. By other boys, from the sound of it. Theo began examining him right away.

"Is he going to make it?" 

"I'll do what I can" Theo was absorbed in his work. The man was not the boy's father, just some bystander with a good heart. Theo nodded towards a chair "You can sit. There's wine." Some for him to drink, and some unwatered for the patients.

The child was bruised, his nose bleeding, and the skin split on his head, bleeding copiously. Theo examined him all over. He gently pulled on his eyelids to see his eyes.

"His skull doesn't seem cracked... his eyes seem normal. There is a lot of blood, but head wounds always bleed a lot..."

@Faustus

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Gaius hovered, slightly closer to the boy protectively as the medicus began his examining. There would be slight movements, to allow the man access to the boy without him being an annoyance. Whilst he had no such experience of being a father, he assumed this was similar to what parents must have felt like. His lips were pressed into a thin line as slowly stepped away at Quintus' mention of a seat, however he did not seat himself.

Not yet.

Though, the wine was something he would take.

Quell the nerves.

His eyes never leaving the boy, every so often watching the hands of the medicus. Gaius did not have much medical knowledge, he never needed to know that as a legionary, so anything which came from the man's mouth was something to believe. And everything seemed to look good to him, though the explanation for all the blood lay with the head wound that the boy had sustained. His mouth opened, wanting to ask questions but another glance at the man seemed to tell him that it was best to allow him to work and then once the boy was saved - then they could talk.

@Chevi

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Theo examined the boy all over before he turned his attention to his wound. Blood was beginning to slowly dry, but none of that was going to matter if the boy was bleeding somewhere else he did not notice. There were no open wounds, and he touched his chest and stomach to see if he might be bleeding internally. There were other injuries; bruises all over, and a sprained wrist, but none that seemed life threatening. Theo hurriedly turned his attention back to the head wound then, cleaning it carefully before he got around to stitching. "It is probably good he is out for this part." He muttered. "I have seen grown men make a fuss about it. If he comes around, I might need you to hold him."

@Faustus

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Gaius had realised to some degree that his need to see the safety of the boy was irrational; that this was not the only child out on the streets of Rome in such dire conditions. However, he could not peel himself from the boy's side when the Medicus worked on him. He, too, noticed that the doctor was calm; which in turn had somewhat of a calming force over the larger man.

He had never been good with needles himself as he watched the man turn to deal with the head wound. "Okay." Gaius moved slightly closer, to the top end of the boy's torso; guessing that it would be the flailing of the upper body that would ultimately hinder the doctor's work. "Have you any children?" He wanted answers to the reasons why he felt the need to linger.

@Chevi

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The large man was not a man of many words, and Theo was fine with that. At least he didn't try to distract the medicus from work. He took up a position by the table, and Theo started on stitching the wound.

"Have you any children?"

"Me? No." Theo chuckled. "Not that I know of, anyway. I only recently left the legions... never got around to it since. You?" The man had already said this child was not his, but he sure behaved like a worried father.

@Faustus

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A fellow Legionnaire.

There was something to speak upon after they had patched the young child up, perhaps if the Medicus did not have to rush off to tend to the wounds of a gladiator, there was hope yet.

"Nor I," Gaius shrugged, a rueful smile crossing his features as he rubbed his neck. "Perhaps it's still not too late for an old dog."

He had thought about raising a family of his own - a thought that remained fleeting and never-lasting. It was a concept that frightened him so, knowing how his own family had been when he had grown up and rumors said that boys grew to be their father. "You mention the Legions, which one?"

@Chevi

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"Nor I. Perhaps it's still not too late for an old dog."

Theo smiled a little, leaning over the child and doing his work as precisely as possible. The less of a scar his stitches left, the better. He was willing to put in the extra time. "You seem to have the character for it." The larger man was still strong, and obviously caring enough. A family could still be in his future.

"You mention the Legions, which one?"

"The XII Fulminata in the East, and then the I Germanica on the Rhenus frontier." Theo replied, glancing up for a moment. He decided to make an educated guess. "You?"

@Faustus

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Maybe he had not expected the other to have responded so smoothly, agreeing with him. It had been a partial throwaway line, a spur of the moment thought that Gaius would entertain perhaps for the day and then long forget about the idea until the next time. He would let that particular thread hang, as he looked back toward the child, hoping that he could at least help the boy back to his family so that he were not to be attacked on the streets the next time.

To his surprise, the man served in two Legions. Gaius inclined his head. "Rhenus Frontier, you say?" It brought back a lot of memories. "Served with the Rhaetia Auxillary, might have crossed paths with a couple of the boys then." One could hope. Perhaps they had indeed crossed paths before, though whether or not either of them would have remembered a face in a passing Legion was a slim chance. "One of the lucky ones to get out with all limbs attached, right?"

@Chevi

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"Rhenus Frontier, you say? Served with the Rhaetia Auxillary, might have crossed paths with a couple of the boys then." 

So, he had served, then. Theo's guess had been right. The man had the look. Auxiliary, too, that meant he'd not been a citizen before. Theo focused on his job, but he had a lot of practice carrying a conversation while stitching someone up. He would have remembered this man if they'd met, but they probably knew someof the same people.

"One of the lucky ones to get out with all limbs attached, right?"

"I was doing the attaching" Theo smirked. "Soldiers didn't make as much fuss as gladiators, I'll tell you that."

He'd leave the rest up to the man. He was a medicus, out of the legions, which meant that by law he was supposed to be among the equites. Instead, he was sewing up gladiators.

"What's your name? I'm Theodorus. You can call me Theo."

@Faustus
 

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He glanced up, a smirk on his features mirroring that of Theodorus's. "That's not surprising to hear." Gaius had heard many a soldier complain about the little things when their commanding officer had stalked off to their tents, the higher officers disappearing for the night to wine and dine whilst they sat around sharing stories and comparing battle wounds that they had survived the past conflicts. "There is a difference between fighting for one's home, and fighting for survival."

"What had you working along the gladiators then? Surely you're meant for better things?" A man with skills was always needed, he assumed and perhaps even if it were by law; it was a job that people still needed filling.

"Gaius," Though at this point it seemed the boy was starting to stir. His eyes widened as his grip strengthened, knowing that there was a high chance the boy would startle. "Gaius Maxentius."

He would admit it was good to meet Theo once the job was done, the boy's eyes began to open, fluttering open as he took a deeper breath. Gaius glanced up at Theo, looking to ask what needed to be done bar holding the boy down tighter.

@Chevi

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The boy was regaining consciousness. Theo was finishing up the stitches just as his eyes opened. The man who introduced himself as Gaius acted fast enough to keep the kid from flailing around.

"It's alright, you are safe" Theo said in a calming tone, pressing clean cloth to the wound. "You have been hit on the head, but you will be alright. I have fixed the wound. Would you stay still a little longer while I bandage you?" Theo did not have much experience with children; his usual clientele was more of the warrior type. The child struggled a little but in the end stayed put while Theo bandaged his head. "This is Gaius. He saved you and brought you here. He's a good man." Theo added with a small smile. Once the child was taken care of, they'd need to find a way to return him home.

@Faustus

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Gaius was surprised at how quickly the child had come around, they had just been speaking about should the kid wake before he the medicus had finished his job. Of course he had startled, but the child did not flail too much once Theodorus had spoken to him; to reassure that the child was in safe and capable hands. Gaius had part expected the child to kick up a fuss, to flail and try to get away from the strange surroundings that he found himself in, but instead, the child stayed put.

Staring at the both of them with wide brown, watery eyes as he remained almost statue-like as Theo began to bandage his head.

Small eyes turned to Gaius, staring at him now curiously as he observed the larger man in front of him. Then the kid smiled, or came close enough to what Gaius had presumed to be a smile.

"Thank you very much, sir."

Gaius could not help but smile, his lips widened as the child's coarse voice whispered through the air. He then glanced over to Theo, "He's the man who saved you. You should thank him." It was a small correction, for a big man such as himself did not find himself with the experience that was necessary for the injury at hand. "I can take you home afterwards if you want to?"

@Chevi

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The child, luckily, was too polite (or too dizzy) to make a fuss, and allowed himself to be bandaged. Theo did a quick job of it, making sure the bandages would hold. "You should come back here tomorrow so I can change the bandages and check your wound." He told the boy, patting him on the arm. With a bit of luck and blessing from the gods, he would be alright. Theo looked up at Gaius "And you. You're not also injured, are you?"

@Faustus

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He listened as the boy nodded, or at least attempted to nod with the bandages making his head sway ever so slightly. Gaius gave a muted smile, pleased to the Gods that the boy had survived the ordeal and the injury was not as bad as he had previously had been led to believe. Then the question had been turned to himself, allowing the chance for Gaius to pat himself down and check himself over - finding no injuries as such from being manhandled by the guards. "No, I am unscathed. Thank you. For treating the boy." He turned to look at the boy, wondering whether he would need to lend an assistance for the boy to find the arena again.

"I can accompany you if you wish tomorrow before work?" Gaius asked, looking towards the boy. Only to be returned a shrug. Perhaps he did not want to, perhaps he would in time but for now, it was best if he did not leave his parents worried. "Perhaps you can decide on the way home, or tomorrow even. There is no rush. We best get you back home." In one scoop, the boy was cradled in his arm, the boy's arm wrapped around his neck as he looked to the Medicius. "I shall see you around, Theo."

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