Title: no tongue so sharp
Day/Theme: November thirteenth | a sharp tongue, an Achilles' heel (late)
Character/Pairing: Serra/Erk, a tinge of Hector/Priscilla and Pent/Louise in passing.
Summary: Erk is the luckiest man alive. Serra personally reminds him of this at every chance possible.
A/N: semi related to a fic called "arrangements" that I wrote previously (you can find it at the kink meme, it's R thus it's locked on my journal). Louise is actually paraphrasing a biblical verse (Proverbs 31: 10
An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels. NASB version.) Also, thanks to r_amythest for pointing out the quote accident.
Difficilis facilis iucundus acerbus es idem:
Nec tecum possum vivere nec sine te.
[Difficult easy-going, likewise you are sweet and sour: I am able to live neither with you nor without you. -- often paraphrased as 'I can't live either with you or without you.']
Erk sighed at the doorway. Master Pent and Lady Louise had already gone in to the gala. There were lights streamed about, lights that he and Master Pent themselves had carefully lit through magic lanterns. They were guaranteed to burn all night long, they would last when the stars had long faded into morning and the moon closed its sleepy eyes.
Serra had traded up her usual vestments for something a bit showier. She was no longer in the order, for she had to shelve it away with their impending marriage, but she was more than satisfied to become the most accomplished socialite in all of Ostia. (How many others of them had actually helped save the world? Many of them, but that was beside the point.)
She wore the same pigtails, but now they were held up with pearls. Pearls seemed to be her adornment of choice as the white to signify purity, which she still held, and innocence, which Erk knew to be utter bullshit. Even on his most ill-tempered moment, Erk had to admit that she looked good in such a get up. On his salary he could never afford such fineries (and already he had nightmares of his pay evaporating into her dress closets) but Lady Louise had been glad to help. She had taken to his bride to be, a little too much if he didn't say so. Erk was pretty much positive that they were scheming against him behind his back.
"Can't you stand a little taller? Or wear something a little showier? You'd think you were someone's apprentice or something," Seera said.
"I am someone's apprentice!" Erk shot back.
"Don't sulk, Erk, you're the luckiest man in the world. I even turned down Lord Hector and broke the heart of countless other rich and handsome suitors all begging for my hand! They closed themselves away and became monks rather than live with another woman. It's so tragic."
Of course he remembered. She reminded him at every chance, and then she'd remind him again lest he ever forget. According to her he was dating a woman with stature and beauty only matched by Saint Elime herself.
He let out a longsuffering sigh as she brushed the invisible dust from his clothes and fussed over his appearance.
"Now, Priscilla is going to be with Lord Hector, I want you to look as handsome as possible to make her horribly jealous at how lucky you are, maybe she'll even beg to trade. You're not allowed to take that offer, though."
"Of course I wouldn't. Why on Earth would I want to be free from you ," Erk said, sarcasm dripping from his voice.
"Good, because if Raven didn't kill you, Hector would. Also, I would help." She smirked as she said the last and he knew she had every intention of keeping that promise.
"Oh, here they come!"
She grabbed him and before he knew it her lips were on his. She kissed him loud, with none of that supposed modesty she claimed to have as a servant of St. Elime. She kissed him like he was the best thing she had ever tasted and everything she'd ever wanted.
It took a polite cough and a chuckle from Hector to pry her off him but by then Erk found he didn't want her to stop. He looked back dazed into his former contractor, she no longer was as steeped in melancholy as she had once been, her sorrow had receded to something almost like happiness.
"Oh, Lord Hector I. I didn't see you there," Serra said far too sweetly. Priscilla looked as if she had eaten something sour, and looked a little greener than even the rivulets of green velvet that made her gown.
"It's a bit soon for trysts, Erk. They haven't even served the wine yet," Hector said.
"Hector," Priscilla said, fairly scandalized.
"No need to worry, Priscilla, a few drinks and I'll be showing you all of Ostia's greatest monuments."
She colored, but didn't look entirely opposed to this idea.
"I think we should be going," she said quite sternly and looped his arm in hers. It would've taken two of her arms to equal his, but she still managed to pull him back to the gala.
Erk sighed as his former contractor and almost-love left with her husband to be. Another turn of fate and things might have gone quite differently. There were even times when he didn't regret his current situation.
"Remind me why I'm in love with you again?" Erk said.
"Because I'm the most beautiful woman on all of Elibe and you are incredibly lucky to have caught such an incredible catch like myself?" She replied.
"Nah, more like some cruel act of fate, that must be it."
"Erk!" she shrieked. "Take that back!"
"They're waiting for us inside. We've already managed to offend the hosts, we shouldn't keep Master Pent any longer," Erk said.
"Fine! And I'll seduce the men with my superior wit and elegant marble-like stature and then you'll be heartbroken! Erk! Erk don't you keep walking away!"
The lanterns kept burning outside and he could hear her pearls and bracelets shaking even over the shrill sound of her voice. He remembered Lady Louise's sly whisper A good wife is worth more than jewels but he thought she must be mistaken.
(But then he knew Lady Louise was never wrong. Master Pent said so himself.)