A/N: This idea just popped into my head when I was wondering about the origins of Pig Latin... I wikipedia'd it, and it turns out no one's exactly sure where it came from, but it seems to have originated in around the 1800s. Whatever. Gaius was ahead of his time ;) Don't know what pig latin is? You just take the first letters of a word, but them at the end and add 'ay' eg ig-pay atin-lay. Also, any Latin scholars out there, I say 'puelle' not 'puellae', because in Medieval Latin the 'a' was dropped... One more thing: when I needed the title Historia Potionum (meaning: History of Potions), I assumed potio was like leo (3rd declension) because it's an irregular feminine, so it's not like puella. If someone knows I have got it wrong, I would greatly appreciate being told so! So that is everything you need to know, I hope you like it... Please review if you do, and feel free to review even if you don't! :)
Gaius sat in his lesson, trying ever so hard to ignore Gregory.
"Puella, puellam, puelle, puelle, puella…" Gregory paused, waiting for Gaius - who was making a point of staring out of the window at a small, fluffy bird - to continue with the plural.
When Gaius made absolutely no move to do anything Gregory would regard as constructive, but rather leaned his chin further into his hand and began to close his eyes, Gregory coughed.
"If I could perhaps draw your attention away from the insides of your eyelids…" Gregory grumbled, crossing his arms across his front, and raising a disapproving eyebrow at his young charge.
Gaius groaned inwardly, but had the sense to keep his groan inward, offering Gregory a weak smile. "Err…" he looked about his tutor's chambers, hoping he might find something to rescue him from his current predicament. The various leather-bound books on their self-important shelves sat, out of his reach, sneering down at him. "Um… Ah… puelle?" Gaius offered, not sounding particularly confident.
Gregory conceded with a curt nod of his head.
Gaius swallowed, almost wishing he'd got that one wrong, so he wouldn't have to try again. "Errm… puellarum?"
The look on Gregory's face answered the question for him.
"Gaius! For heaven's sake! This is only the first declension! Do you know what that means?"
"That it has a very high opinion of itself?"
"Don't you try and be clever with me, boy!" Gregory exclaimed, smacking Gaius sharply on the back of his head. "It means that there are four more declensions to come, and I do not suppose that you know any of those… Or are you going to amaze me?"
Gaius looked bashfully at his feet.
"No… No I thought not."
Gregory tossed a large, dusty book down on the desk in front of Gaius, trying his best not to chuckle at the look of sheer dismay on the boy's face. "I want you to go away…"
Gregory clamped a hand down on Gaius' shoulder to stop him from scurrying off, and wagged a finger under the boy's nose. "Such enthusiasm! If only I could direct it towards learning…" he dumped the book in Gaius' hands, and shot him a stern, but almost fatherly look. "I want you to go away and read the first seven chapters," Gregory waved away Gaius' groans of discontent. "Do not bother coming back until you have done at least that much, is that clear?"
Gaius scowled at his mentor, and was about to turn to leave before he found himself called back yet again.
"What now?" Gaius snipped, having stuffed the awkwardly heavy book under his arm, without the slightest intention of ever looking at it again.
"I do not advise taking that tone with me, young man… I thought I might give you some incentive…"
He directed Gaius to the back of his chambers, where he reached for a small, withered green book.
Gregory passed it to Gaius, a twinkle in his eye, and then swiftly booted the boy out of his way for the day.
"I just really hate books," Gaius insisted, flipping uninterestedly through the first seven chapters. "Servus, servum…" he muttered sardonically to himself.
Geoffrey looked up from his position surrounded by literature and shrugged at his friend. "I can't exactly say I sympathise."
Gaius rolled his eyes and sighed, throwing the insidious book into the corner and refusing to look at it again, deciding instead to begin magically levitating Geoffrey's books in an effort to distract him. Geoffrey grumbled, snatched Jerome's Chronicle from above his head, and tried to reason with Gaius whilst reorganising his notes.
"Are you sure you hate all books?"
"I hate Gregory."
"Excuse me, Gaius, but that's just plainly untrue. Now… Where did Gildas go?"
Gaius scowled. "It is not. Gregory is stubborn, and sarcastic, and too clever for his own good…"
"Just like you."
"He most certainly is not!"
"He most certainly is."
"You are deluded, Geoffrey. Deluded… Gregory is old, cranky, and impossible."
"So the only difference between you is your age," Geoffrey concluded, with a smirk.
Gaius stood, jaw gaping like a fish, until catching sight of his friend's smug expression, and deciding to wipe it away by launching parchment at him.
"Do you mind, Gaius?"
"Evidently I do not mind."
"Evidently… That was Augustine's Confessions…"
Gaius huffed and dropped back to the floor again. "I hate Latin."
"You need Latin," Geoffrey argued, still attempting in vain to reorganise his works.
"If you wish to be able to read and write, or be of any importance, you need Latin."
"Have you been listening to anything I've been saying? I hate reading! And I hate Latin!"
"What do you want to be, then? A servant? A blacksmith?" Geoffrey chortled a little at the notion, as he made some alterations to his writings with his quill.
"I want to be…" Gaius frowned and turned back to the book Gregory had handed him earlier, turning it over and over in his hands. "Historia Potionum," he read.
"I want to make potions… Study science… And magic, of course," Gaius declared, stroking the spine of the book reverently, his eyes flashing a familiar gold.
Geoffrey looked up at his friend, squinting at the tiny book he was holding. "Where did you get that?"
"Gregory gave it to me."
Geoffrey smirked, but said nothing.
For a few minutes, Geoffrey could hear nothing but the blissful sound of Gaius's flipping through pages.
"It's in Latin."
"Could you not have deduced that from the title?"
"I hate Latin."
"I am getting ever so slightly tired of hearing that, Gaius…"
"Latin is just so repetitive, it is dull. It all sounds the same…"
Geoffrey scoffed. "I suppose you think you could do better?"
"Make up a better language?"
Gaius considered this. "Probably. If I had enough time."
Geoffrey chuckled, and made more amendments to his script.
"Anyone can make words sound like Latin," Gaius concluded eventually, after scouring his book.
"And you are an expert on the subject?"
Geoffrey frowned. "Have you finally surrendered to madness?"
"I don't know what game you are playing, Gaius…"
"O-nay ame-gay, ust-jay eaking-spay!"
Geoffrey blinked. He shut his book. He contemplated how he was going to explain to Gaius' mother the fact that her son had apparently turned into a gibbering idiot.
Many years later, Gaius and Geoffrey stood side by side, waiting for Uther to decide whether or not their opinions were worth taking on board.
After much deliberation and chin-scratching, Uther eventually concluded that he was going to execute all the sorcerers, and everybody else could go to hell, for all he cared.
As Geoffrey and Gaius backed away, ignoring the sounds of Arthur and Morgana pointlessly protesting against the King's prejudices, about to turn their separate ways, the librarian stopped the physician with a simple string of gibberish.
"Onder-way hy-way e-way other-bay, ometimes-say…"
Gaius grinned, and slapped his friend on the back.
Merlin appeared from around the corner, shooting his mentor and his stuffy friend a strange look. "What's going on?"
"None of your business, boy!" Gaius declared, shooting Merlin a stern but essentially loving look.
Geoffrey slung his arm around Gaius as the pair toddled off down the corridor. "Old-tay ou-yay ou-yay ould-way e-bay ike-lay egory-gray…"
Merlin frowned at the strange old men. Whatever it was Geoffrey had said, Gaius appeared to have understood it and objected to it. He shook his head and headed off to go and deal with Arthur.
He'd never understand old people, and he'd certainly never end up like them…
Nope. Much as he loved Gaius, he was nothing like him.