Winning Over Erk

By Bishop Sasarai

Summary: Canas wants no more regrets in his life, so when he falls for Erk, he has plans to win him over. Will his plans backfire, or succeed?

Pairing: Canas/Erk

Note: Generic Disclaimer Here This is a belated b-day fic for my brother, who is absolutely in love with Canas. He also likes Raven/Lucius, but I've seen the stories written here, and I'm afraid I can't compare, so that's how this came about! Thank you, everyone, for your suggestions.

Winning Over Erk

Part One: The Decision

Canas sat among a pile of thick, archaic books, scattered documents, and half-opened scrolls curling into themselves. Behind his ear rested a quill pen and a bottle of ink lay on its side on the floor, seeping thick black ink on the wooden floor beneath it, forgotten by the magic scholar. Opening one of the thick books entitled The Usage and History of the Black Arts, Canas sighed in pure pleasure. The larger the words in a book, the more he enjoyed reading them. He delighted in finding new words for his expansive vocabulary, and this book, he could tell, would be full of new words that were long since pronounced obsolete. But to Canas, they were new.

Just as Canas was about to dive right into the book, the heavy oak doors of the library were edged open and Erk's slight figure slid through. He looked flushed and out of breath, and also distinctly hunted, which only meant one thing: Serra. Erk rested his back to the now-closed doors of the library for a second while catching his breath and hugging the small stack of books in his arms to his chest. Looking around, his eyes caught Canas' and for just a second, he looked as if he was contemplating running off again. Canas wondered at this. He'd never really sided with Serra before, why should he give Erk's hiding place away now?

"Canas," Erk nodded at him, as he pushed away from the doors and made his way over to the long, paper-covered table Canas occupied. Canas moved aside a tangle of scrolls on the history of Etruria to make room for Erk's books.

"So," Canas said, adjusting his monocle. "What brings you here? Besides Serra hunting you down?"

"Really," Erk said as he set his books down carefully and took an available seat across from Canas. "It's not the best place for me to go. But I figure if she thinks I'll be here, she'll think I'll think that, too, and go somewhere more unlikely..." Erk trailed off and let his forehead fall into his palm. "I sound just like her, don't I?"

"Somewhat, yes," Canas agreed amiably. "What books have you got there?"

"Just some magic tomes," Erk answered offhandedly. "What are you studying?" Erk examined the sea of paper all around them.

"Oh, several different things at once," Canas replied, his eyes lighting up. "I find that I acquire knowledge more efficiently when I study several subjects at one time, that way I won't get bored with one subject and move on, rather I read what sounds interesting to me, when it appeals to me."

"Sounds rather confusing to me," Erk said. "I like to take my time on one subject, to make sure that I know everything there is to know about it. I've never had to go back in my research."

"Well, we all have our ways," Canas conceded. "You know, I've heard a lot about you from Lord Pent and Lady Louise. They say that as a child, you would lock yourself in your room for hours at a time without stopping for food or drink. Is this true?"

"It is," Erk nodded. "I like to keep to myself for the most part."

"Hmm, me too," Canas said. "But... It won't be an easy life for you. You know, we're both scholars of magic, you and I. Would you like to study together? It will make for better conversation."

"You converse with yourself?" Erk rose a disbelieving eyebrow.

"At times, yes," Canas answered unabashedly. "I find a human voice to be a bit memorable than the cold text of the book at times, even if it's my own."

Erk tilted his head to think about it for a moment, his slightly curled hair falling into his eyes and a frown tugging at the corners of his mouth. Canas smiled at him, even though he wasn't watching. The younger mage was really quite cute in his own way.

"Hmm," Erk looked up and was startled to see the affectionate smile being aimed his way. His cheeks warmed and he stared back down at the papers. Picking one up, he saw it was about Etruria.

"I probably know anything you need to know about Etruria," Erk said, before chancing a glance up again. Canas looked eager as a puppy.

"Really? Is that a yes to my query, then?"

Erk sighed. Why was he always roped into these things? "For now, I suppose."

At that, the two began a question and answer session about Etruria, which was actually a welcome opportunity for Erk to brush up on his previous studies. After that, they chatted about the differences in their decisions to study magic, and what each category of magic meant to each other, and others they'd met. Erk found himself enjoying himself for once, and Canas very much liked the chance to talk to someone intelligent about all that he had learned.

Before they knew it, it was late, and the castle was quiet. Erk got up to look out the window and saw it was probably around two or three in the morning.

"I hope we don't have to do battle tomorrow," Canas yawned and stretched his arms over his head. "I'll probably fall asleep and get my head lopped off."

Erk yawned too. "Stop yawning, Canas. It's contagious."

Really?" Canas perked up. "Is it a known fact?"

Erk nodded, yawning again. He came over to the table and laid his head on his arms.

"I really am tired..."

"I can tell," Canas said softly, reaching over to ruffle the younger mage's hair. Erk's eyes half-closed.

"Don't think I'll be able to go to my room..." Erk mumbled.

"That's okay," Canas smiled. "I can watch over you."

"Not that I need you to, or anything," Erk said, embarrassed. "Usually I'm not so easily tired, but I was up late last night as well..."

"Ah, studying?"

"Something like that."

"Well, go to sleep. You'll be fine, I promise."

Erk closed his eyes...

The sun shone through the long windows of the library and onto the sleeping figure of Erk, curled around the spellbooks. His hair had fallen across one eye and shone softly lavender and violet and amethyst in the pale morning light. Canas was draped in a chair by the windows, watching him. There was a small leather-bound book in his hand, which he wrote in with his elegant, slanted script every so often. He found that watching a sleeping Erk had made for some fascinating observations, as well as opening the door to an old secret he'd long since shoved away in the corners of his mind.

He wasn't sure if opening the door would prove to be a positive or negative discovery, but he was game for either, because life was all about experiences and he didn't want to lose out on the opportunity to experience this, as he had once before. Canas wasn't in the slightest tired anymore; he was actually eager to see if Erk would reciprocate these feelings. It was a bit of a risky venture, considering if things were to fall out between them, there would be no turning back. And if things went really sour, then Canas would just have to go elsewhere. He saw no other option, and since he'd be the one to initiate it, he should be the one to leave if the consequences were dire.

Canas wondered why he was still considering doing this. Almost all of the results he could think of were bad. He would no longer have a 'study buddy' as it were, he might have to leave his well-adjusted life here, and even if things went well, he'd be committing two crimes:

One: he had a wife.

Two: Erk was, well, underage.

Wow, he was officially a pervert now. He wondered why he still found this humorous.

Canas knew why, really. Why he was taking this gamble. Only once had he felt this way when looking at someone, and he had let it pass. It was the biggest regret of his life. But now, it was as if fate had meant for that to happen. He had another chance. He didn't want to die regretting that he'd missed this chance, too. And so, he was going to do this incredibly stupid thing. He was going to try to win over Erk.

He didn't know where to start, but research had always been his forte. He watched Erk, still sleeping on, innocent and unaware of what was going on in his companion's mind, and he almost felt guilty. Really. His regrets from the past should not have sucked Erk into it, but Canas had no intention of backing out now.

As he watched, it was apparent that Erk was now waking. He was wrinkling his nose at the sun in his face, and moved his arm to shield his eyes from it. Canas felt a strange thrill course through him. This is the beginning, he thought.

"Hopefully not the beginning of the end," he mused aloud.

Erk, sitting up and rubbing his sleep-filled eyes, looked at him funny, then yawned sleepily.

"I can't believe I slept here all night," Erk groaned. "I hurt in places I didn't even know I had," he paused. "And what were you talking about, 'the beginning of the end'? Is there going to be another apocalypse?"

"If you mean another Serra-outburst, it's inevitable," Canas remarked with a grin. "But, no. I was just... mumbling to myself."

Erk gave him another funny look, then stretched and ran his fingers through his wavy, violet hair. His stomach made a sudden, rude growling noise and Erk looked embarrassed.

"I didn't eat dinner last night," he explained. "I guess I'm falling back into old habits."

Canas smiled. "Perhaps. Erk, I have a question."

Erk glanced at him, mildly curious. "What is it?"

"Have you ever had a relationship? I mean a romantic relationship, to be specific."

Erk stared at him. "No," he said finally. "I thought you could figure that out. What girl would approach me? ... Besides Serra, I mean."

"Yes, and I've seen how prickly you can be," Canas agreed. "But you can be quite charming at times. I've seen you with Priscilla, for example."

Erk rolled his eyes in a decidedly uncharming manner. "I expected her to be another Serra...and I tried to please her before she started yabbering like a Chihuahua.

Canas tapped his quill pen against his chin. "Hmm... What kind of person do you think it would take for you to be, ah, intimate with?"

Erk now glared at him. Are you trying to set me up with someone? And anyway, how's your sex-life? Your wife must miss you to bits."

"Ah, sarcasm," Canas said, taking the quill pen and tucking it behind his ear to minimize the distraction it presented. "I expected as much from you. As I said, prickly, prickly. And to answer your question, my sex-life is non-existent and my wife probably wouldn't know me from the backend of a horse."

"And you say all this so cheerfully," Erk replied dryly. "It's sweet of you to love your wife so much."

"Isn't it?" Canas replied with sunny sarcasm to counter Erk's dark tone. "She does get dreadfully lonely, you know."

"I bet." Erk crossed the room to gather his books from the table. "Well, it was fun while it lasted," Erk hugged the stack to his chest. "But I'm going now. I've really got to eat."

Canas watched him go, almost mournfully. But now, he'd have time for his research.

Canas picked up the leather-bound book, then looked everywhere for his quill pen before he realized it was tucked behind his ear. Then he couldn't find his damned ink bottle. Until he stepped into the puddle of inky goodness.

Sighing, Canas cursed his forgetfulness. He was good-natured to a fault, but really, if he didn't pull his absentminded head out of the clouds, he was liable to get himself into some real trouble.

Going to the cupboards, he rummaged around until he found a bottleā€”of pink ink. Canas stared at it for a long moment, wondering why it was there in the first place, but decided he'd have to use it.

Putting on his cloak with a swirl of dark cloth (he had a flair for dramatics); he headed for the door to find some information on how to win over Erk.

Well, that's the end of Part One. It's really short... isn't it? Oh well, the next part is longer! And it's also when the ball really starts rolling! It's a strange couple... so I won't lie. It's a hard fic to write. I hope nobody was OOC. Reviews appreciated, teku. Oh, and just in case you were wondering, you can find my original work at , under the name Queen of Cyrum/Sasarai. Or something like that. (I forgot to put this on my bio and I'm too lazy to do it right now.)