Title: Try again
Pairing: Arthur/Gwaine, Arthur/Merlin
Word count: 1542 - oops?
Prompt: 357: Try again
Summary: Arthur has to try again and again and he doesn't like it at all.
Author’s notes: Not beta’d.
Arthur sniffed and tried to wipe the tears away. His father had ordered him to learn how to ride a horse, but he was only five years old and this stupid horse was so tall! He was actually rather afraid of the big hooves and the scary big teeth and he couldn't climb up on the animal on his own. What he could do was fall off on his own and that really hurt.
Why couldn't he have a pony like Percy or a really small horse like Leon? They were still rather tall and Arthur had a huge respect for the animals, but at least they weren't as scary as the tall black stallion his father had given him for his birthday.
To be honest, Arthur much rather had gotten a toy train or at least one of them cool water guns.
"Try again, Arthur." Father, who had been watching from the fence, demanded.
Swallowing hard, Arthur looked up at the horse and sighed deeply.
Mr. Kilgharrah, his riding instructor, lifted him up and all Arthur could do was to cling to the saddle for dear life.
"Once your father stops coming here to watch, we'll try this with one of the ponies. You might relax if the way down isn't so far." The man whispered and winked at him and for the first time that day, Arthur had a little bit of hope that he would manage this horse back riding thing his father was so fond of one day.
Arthur dropped the sword and yelled out. His knuckles were hurting where his instructor's sword had hit him. Even though he knew that it had been his mistake for not following through with what the man tried to teach him, he glared at him and held his hand.
"Let me check this." Mr. Knight - which was a rather fitting name as he taught old-fashioned sword fighting - came over and reached for Arthur's hand.
"It's broken." Arthur sniffed, very sure that his hand was probably bruised but surely not broken.
"No, it isn't. Go, get some ice and put it on while I work with Leon and then we'll try again, okay?"
It wasn't okay. Arthur didn't want to be here. He had no idea why he should learn how to fight with a sword, he'd much rather have done something really cool like Karate or at least Judo. Or probably do some skateboarding, it looked so easy when Percy did it.
Alas, he was stuck in these stupid lessons just because his father had a thing for anything medieval. It started with the house they were living in, which almost looked like an old castle and didn't end in naming his son after the greatest king that had ever lived.
Arthur had heard so many insults and jokes on his behalf in kindergarten and now school that he had pondered changing his name into something more modern. Like...Joe for example. Joe was cool and fit all kinds of people. It would also prevent people from calling him Artie, which he hated even more than his own name.
The ice on his hand really helped with the pain and the swelling wasn't too bad.
"Come on, Arthur. Give it another go and try to think of everything I've told you."
Arthur pouted, but got up and reached for his sword.
A Pendragon had to find a suitable wife. That was something that father had hammered into him since he'd been very little. Now, at almost 15, he hadn't even managed to kiss a girl. Of course he wanted to get it done and over with, but the girls around him never gave him the feeling that they liked him for him.
They were just interested in the status that came with him being one of the only boys in the school play and him also being the star scorer of the school's footie team. That he was the son of Uther Pendragon was a reason, too.
He just didn't understand how Leon and Percy had various girlfriends for the past two years. Some relationships very short-lived, but it always seemed there was at least some mutual interest.
Arthur wasn't interested in the girls that flocked around him. That wouldn't keep him from kissing one at this party, though. He just had to do it. It was awkward that he was so old and hadn't even kissed a girl yet! This needed to end.
So he let himself be lured to a darker corner by Sofia and clumsily tried to copy what he had seen in movies and what his friends seemed to be doing. It just didn't feel right. The angle was wrong, it was way too wet, his nose bumped into Sofia's and Arthur felt nothing but utter nervousness.
When he pulled back, Sofia looked at him.
"Let's try again?"
She shook her head. "Not with me, Pendragon."
As she slipped away and Arthur felt more miserable than he had ever before, Gwaine passed him by.
"Meet me outside in five. I'll show you how it's really done."
Arthur looked after him. Maybe Gwaine could teach him how to kiss, so the weekend wasn't a total loss.
"I give up." Arthur sighed and leaned against the kitchen counter at Leon's house.
"Come on, you've had a few set-backs, but that's no reason to give up." Mithian looked at him and shook her head.
Sighing again, Arthur shrugged. "I'm 25 and...never really had satisfying sex. How old do you have to get for this to be something you really enjoy?"
Mithy laughed. "You just met the wrong partners, that's all."
She was so right about that. Everyone he had ever been with was wrong. After that toe-curling kiss Gwaine had given him at the party all these years ago, Arthur had tried his newly acquired kissing skills on lots of girls and with some, he had even managed to go a step further. But it had always left him sad and empty. Maybe love and sex were just made-up and fictional, so they could fill magazines and movies with it.
"Don't give up, Arthur, the person for you might be right around the corner. Just try again."
"There isn't anyone for me, Mithy, I might just as well join a monestary."
"What a loss." A tall bloke with dark hair and blue eyes and the largest ears Arthur had seen on anyone, stepped up to them.
"Beg your pardon?"
The man sipped his beer and chuckled. "Couldn't help but overhear your conversation." He shrugged. "I'd just think it would be such a waste if you ended up as a frustrated monk."
Arthur was at a loss of words. Given that they were at a party and he had freely shared this information with Mithy, it wasn't such a surprise that someone else had heard him. It was outrageous, though, that this bloke just budged into their conversation.
"Oh, hi! Didn't know you would be here as well!" Mithy beamed at the man before she turned back to him. "Arthur, have you met Merlin?"
What else she said was drowned out by the rush of blood in his ears when he noticed how this Merlin was looking him up and down and gave him a little smirk and a wink.
Maybe, just maybe, there was a small sliver of hope to not leave this party alone.
Merlin came deep inside him with a loud grunt and then pulled out very slowly before he rolled to lie next to him.
Trying to get his breath back, Arthur didn't know what to say. He had met up with Merlin for drinks or a movie a few times, they had texted back and forth and Arthur was really happy to have found a new friend.
Just that this friendship wasn't enough a few weeks later and they had started snogging while they were watchting a movie on Merlin's couch. Merlin's kisses were everything that he had every wanted, they made his skin tingle and goosebumps run down his spine.
Things progressed quickly after that night and not too soon after, they had found themselves in Arthur's bed, touching and exploring. At first, it had been weird to think that he did all of this with a man, but it felt so much better than with any girl he had ever been with.
Merlin turned to his side and smiled at him. "You okay?"
Arthur nodded. He was sore and surely he wouldn't be able to sit the next day, but he couldn't get the grin off of his face.
"Sorry that I couldn't make you come again." Merlin reached over and brushed a strand of hair off his forehead.
"Oh, come on." Arthur chuckled. He had come from the incredible blowjob Merlin had given him and then again when Merlin had taken hours to prepare him, so he didn't mind that they hadn't come together now.
"We might have to try again and again and again before we manage...." There was a twinkle in Merlin's eyes and a grin tugged at the corner of his mouth and for the first time in his entire life, Arthur didn't mind at all that practice made perfect.