Erin cracked open the library door, peeking inside. Through the black he could see a dim light, penetrating the darkness. It was a small indication that somebody was still there. He sighed, the noise seeming too loud for the quiet place, and walked forward, letting the door swing shut behind him.
Caspian wasn't at his dorm, he wasn't at his friends, he wasn't at the cafeteria, and his phone was on the dry sink by the front door. Ten new messages and three missed calls. If he had to be anywhere at this hour, it'd be the library. And, as always, Erin was right.
Caspian sat at a desk in the far back, reading by a small lamp, which light flickered and sent ghostly shadows around the almost empty library. He had a thick book open in front of him and his chin was in his hand. Every once in a while his eyelids would droop, and his head would tilt downwards, making his messy brown hair fall in front of his green eyes.
A small little snore, almost like a purr, would emanate from his body and then he'd snap his head up, shaking the sleep from his head. Then back to the book, he would go, eyes scanning the endless sea of words. The librarian was long gone, forgetting that a student was there. In her mind, no student would stay until twelve-seventeen to study.
Erin cracked a small smile. Even though Caspian was lanky, rude at times, extremely cranky when he wanted to be, and always had dark smudges under his eyes, Erin thought he was perfect. He walked over, placing a steamy mug of rich hot chocolate and an apple next to Caspian's book, and rubbed his shoulders.
"Hey, you. Studying again?" He asked, glancing at the book. Shakespear. Caspian nodded and leaned into the shoulder rub, picking up the mug. He ignored the apple, however, pushing it away with a finger. He wasn't in the mood to eat.
"Aw. Thanks, Erin." He said, realizing what the mug contained. He took a sip and warmth flooded his body. That, or being this close to Erin when he was sleep deprived was too much for him.
Erin frowned softly at the apple and looked back to Caspian. "You need to eat you know. Otherwise, you could get super sick. You could get Autophagy!" Caspian rolled his eyes.
"I've heard that plenty of times, Erin. Don't worry, I'm staying as safe and healthy as I can." He grumbled, hating being looked after. Erin made a face at Caspian's harsh tone but he should have known better than to test his friend when he was this tired. Erin looked around the library, trying to find anything to change the subject, The air was tense and uncomfortable and Erin could hardly stand it.
His eyes drifted to a notebook next to the poetry book. Papers littered the space next to it, and the notebook itself was full to bursting with pencils, bookmarks, colored tabs, and thick wads of paper.
'My God he's such a mess.' Erin thought, a small, fond, but exasperated smile playing on his lips. Caspian's messy scrawl adorned each page, and Erin could only make out a few words on the page the notebook was open to.
How will they be received?
Will they squabble over tidbits?
Or will they inspire?
Their aerial sweep a sudden burst of joy
Home to friendship
Home to family
Home to warmth
Home to comfort
Home to ourselves
Caspian looked up, wanting to apologize but followed Erin's blue eyes. His cheeks colored and he moved his arm, blocking the words from view. "I'm rubbish at poetry, I know." He mumbled and took another sip of the chocolate, hiding behind the cup.
Erin smiled and rested his head on Caspian's. His hair tickled. "No, that's pretty good for a first attempt." He praised. Caspian swallowed and put the cup down.
"Thanks." He said, a yawn escaping his lips not a moment after. He sniffed and turned back to the book, a grim, determined look on his face.
Erin huffed and leaned forward, slamming the book shut. The noise was too loud for the empty library and Erin cringed slightly. Caspian jumped.
"Enough," Erin said, hands on his hips. "It's nearly twelve-thirty and you've been in here all day without a break."
Caspian turned in the uncomfortable, hard plastic chair and stuck his tongue out at Erin halfheartedly. He would love to sleep right about now, but he couldn't. "I can't, Erin," Caspian told him. "This is due tomorrow and I procrastinated. Now I'm paying the price." He retorted. He turned back to the table and flipped the book open.
Erin sighed and ran a hand through his blonde hair. There's no way he would win this. Caspian was a rock. If he didn't want to do something, he wouldn't. It was a special talent he had that usually left Erin exasperated. "Fine." He said. "I'll help you. It'll go a lot quicker." He pulled up a chair and sat down, grabbing the notebook and papers.
To others, all they would see were two boys studying late into the night and early in the morning, the library almost empty, each sound making them cringe. But to Caspian, it meant so much more. He bit his lip, trying not to smile. "You don't need to help me." He didn't want to be a burden. "This isn't your work y'know." He told his friend. Erin waved his hand, dismissing the very thought as if it didn't matter.
"It is now." He said and put all the papers into a nice, neat pile. "Besides, you won't sleep if I don't help. Now, let's see about that poetry." Caspian grinned, not being able to hold it back much longer, and turned the book clockwise so both boys could see it.
"Aye aye, Captain." He said cheeks pink and saluting, forever grateful for his best friend.