Character/s: Gwaine, Leon
Summary: Gwaine's and Leon's friendship encounters its first big bump in the road: Leon's first day at a new school apart from Gwaine.
Word Count: 848
Prompt: #205: First Day of School
Author's Notes: The mentioned Lucas is Leon's older brother.
"Looking mighty posh there, Leon."
Leon rolled his eyes as he passed the apple tree and the dark haired figure leaning against its trunk in the shade. He kept walking, not even breaking stride to spare Gwaine a glance as he headed for the bus stop with his new school bag sitting on his shoulders. A new bag for a new year at a new school. It'd been a while since the first day of school had brought so much change and Leon was anxious to get there and see how it would unfold. He didn't have time to worry about Gwaine and the hasty sound of feet hurrying to catch up to him.
"You weren't going to wait for me?" Gwaine asked, his tone thick with playful accusation as he fell in step beside Leon. "What? Your new posh academy school says you can't be seen with peasants any more?"
"It's not an academy," Leon corrected. "It's the Camelot Institute."
"Right, Institute," Gwaine repeated, letting the word fall out of his mouth with clear distaste. "Like that's better."
"It is. My father says it's more prestigious."
"You mean pretentious.'"
"That's a big word, Gwaine," Leon said, turning to his friend with a smile. "I'm impressed."
Gwaine rolled his eyes but recovered quickly with a look of interest. "Impressed enough that you won't go off to the academy?"
"It's not an academy," Leon said again. He stopped in the middle of the pavement, grabbing Gwaine by the arm to make him stop too. "And I'm not going there because you're not impressive."
"Because I am," Gwaine said with full sincerity.
"Because you are," Leon said, holding a straight face with great control. "I'm going because everyone in my family has gone to the Camelot Institute since it was founded. My grandfather went there, my father went there, Lucas was admitted two years ago, and now it's my turn."
Gwaine considered Leon's point for a full three seconds before he dropped his head into Leon's arm, carrying on in what Leon's mother would describe as a 'dramatic fashion.'
"But school will be so boring without you!" Gwaine moaned, sagging against Leon as Leon tried repeatedly to push him off.
"Percy will be there."
"We're in different classes this year."
"His family's on holiday. He and Gwen don't come back until next week."
"Merlin," Leon tried, shoving Gwaine firmly in an attempt to put some distance between them. "You'll still have Merlin."
A well-timed sidestep on Leon's part almost sent Gwaine stumbling straight into the pavement. Leon quickly snagged one strap of Gwaine's bag, momentum swinging Gwaine back onto his feet in front of Leon.
"Merlin," Leon repeated.
"Maybe," Gwaine pouted. "But it won't be the same."
Leon nodded, trying not to think about how much he might miss seeing Gwaine at school. "I think you're right about that."
Gwaine offered up a grin. "I'm always right."
"No, you're not."
"Name one time."
"Arthur's surprise party," Leon answered, counting items off on his fingers, "the camping trip, that time with the horses-"
"I said one," Gwaine interrupted. He shook his head, righting his bag over one shoulder, and pat Leon's arm sympathetically. "How are you going to survive at your fancy posh school if you can't even follow directions?"
Leon rolled his eyes, letting Gwaine wander off ahead of him as he smoothed out his new uniform shirt and straightened his bag on his shoulders. He caught up with Gwaine in a few quick strides and they walked up to the bus stop together. They stopped in front of the sign dictating which buses left from where, both knowing that from this point they were heading in different directions.
Gwaine confronted the inevitable first.
"Take care of yourself," he said, looking up at Leon.
"I'm just going to a different school," Leon said, feeling the need to point that out.
"Yeah, a fancy posh school filled with big heads like Arthur."
"He's not, and you don't know if they are."
"You don't know if they're not," Gwaine countered with a smug grin.
Leon laughed, shaking his head as other commuters bustled around them. He looked over his shoulder to where his new bus was loading up.
"I should probably-"
Gwaine shoved an apple into Leon's hands. It was firm and red and knowing Gwaine's preference for apples, probably delicious.
"Thanks, Gwaine," Leon smiled, the small gift chasing away nerves he hadn't wanted to admit to feeling.
Gwaine's smile banished them for good. "No problem. See you after school?"
"You'll wait for me?"
Leon nodded. "I'll wait for you."
Gwaine beamed and they offered each other a wave goodbye before parting ways for their first day of school apart. Leon tried not to let the new and unfamiliar overwhelm him as he queued to get on the bus. An apple in hand and one loud parting remark helped bolster his spirits and keep a smile on his face as he boarded the bus that would take him to his new school.
"Have fun at the academy, Leon!"