Title: Straight A's
Summary: Arthur thinks he’s getting somewhere but then Merlin draws back
Word Count: 937
Author's Notes: Not beta’d, sorry. Next part in the Tutoring series
Arthur really liked the reward system Merlin had worked out, even though he got a bit antsy sometimes and wanted things with his tutor to proceed faster.
“Nope,” Merlin pulled back and shoved Arthur’s hand away.
Groaning in frustration, Arthur rolled onto his back. They spent every free minute with each other and even though Merlin kept a close eye on Arthur’s studies and the tutoring, they still found enough time to kiss and explore. For each of his improving grades, Merlin had allowed more intimacy and he hinted more than once that something big would happen when Arthur had worked his way up into the top 10 of his class. Each little hint had made Arthur working even harder. How Merlin found the self-restraint to shove him away now that they were both half-naked and breathing hard was beyond Arthur.
Merlin sat up. “We can’t do that now.”
“Why not?” Arthur knew he was pouting and couldn’t help it. “It’s like you don’t want me.”
Closing his eyes, Merlin leaned back against the headboard of Arthur’s bed. “I want you.”
“Then…what’s keeping us?”
“Your grades still aren’t…”
Arthur interrupted him. “Grades! That’s all you ever think about! My grades! In a situation like this!” He sat up, too, totally frustrated now. His erection was gone and he rather felt like punching something than making out any longer.
“You agreed to stick to the reward system.” Merlin pouted, too.
“Do you do that with all the guys you’re tutoring?” Arthur knew that was mean, Merlin was new at school and he was the first and only one he’s tutored, but he was hurt that they had gone so far and now Merlin shoved him away.
“Wha…?” Merlin’s face showed surprise and shock and then turned very stubborn. “You’re such an arse.” He scrambled up.
“Don’t! I’m sorry! I didn’t mean it like that! Come back!”
“You meant it just like that.” Merlin stopped moving, his t-shirt still in hand, his shoulders hanging.
Arthur scrambled out of bed, holding his open jeans up with one hand as he rounded the bed. “No…I…it’s just so frustrating.”
“That you have to work for something once in your life?” Merlin shot him a glare.
“That’s just as mean.” Arthur looked at Merlin, not daring to reach for him. “Can we be done being mean and go back to…” He didn’t even know what. He hated that this evening had taken this turn.
“You started it.”
“I know. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it. It’s just so frustrating that I obviously have to write an A in both subjects to get what I want.”
Merlin hadn’t moved and just whispered. “What is it you want?”
“You.” Arthur had never wanted anything more. He wanted Merlin, the funny bloke with the weird hobbies and the sticking out ears. He wanted him and he wanted him to stay.
“And you think you have to write As in both subjects to get me? That I’d sell myself like that?”
“It was a fun reward system. I got kisses for Bs and some frotting for a B+. The A- in maths the other day got me a handjob.” Arthur had blushed crimson, they’d never really talked about this. It had just happened.
“Maybe it had nothing to do with your grades?” Merlin looked anywhere but at him and the colour on his face matched Arthur’s.
“Wait, what do you mean?”
“Maybe I just wanted to do these things and that you thought they were connected to your grades was just…I don’t know…a funny way of keeping you interested in your studies.”
“I…I don’t have to write straight As in my next exams to…to…” Arthur blinked and was totally confused.
“That’s what you heard now? That you don’t have to work hard in school?” Merlin looked disappointed.
“No, I mean…if that’s not the cause…why did you shove me away? Did I do something wrong?” Damn, it wasn’t even his grades or the reward, Merlin didn’t want him that way. That stung even more.
Merlin shook his head and then sighed deeply. “It’s…I…” He lifted his head and looked Arthur in the eyes. “I’ve never done it before, okay? I got scared since I don’t really know what to do.” His eyes sparkled challengingly.
Arthur felt a laugh bubbling up. “That’s why you…you didn’t…oh man! And I thought…” Now he laughed.
“What’s so funny now?” Merlin had gone back to glaring.
Carefully, Arthur stepped close, let go of the hem of his jeans he hadn’t even noticed he was still holding and reached for Merlin, pulling him close. “Why didn’t you say anything?”
“It’s awkward when you’re seventeen and haven’t done it already.” Merlin slightly relaxed against Arthur.
Drawing little patterns on Merlin’s naked back, Arthur smiled. “It’s not. Not everybody tried everything by the time they’re seventeen.” His heart did funny little flips. Merlin was still there and he had told him something so personal.
“But you know what to do and all…”
“What gives you that idea?” Arthur ran his lips along Merlin’s shoulder just because it felt good.
Merlin pulled back a bit, so he could look at Arthur. “They say you’ve had a lot of boyfriends and girlfriends.”
“I went out with a few girls and the occasional boy, but…” Arthur shook his head slightly.
Merlin buried his face in the crook of Arthur’s neck as he finally wrapped his arms around him again. “So we both suck at it.”
“We’ll just have to find out.” Arthur grinned. “I didn’t have the feeling we were bad at what we were doing so far.”
Merlin seemed to ponder for a moment. “Maybe we should get a tutor to do it right?” He pulled back and grinned. He playfully took off to let Arthur catch him at the other side of the room and to be silenced by a deep kiss.