Title: The essay
Pairing(s): Merlin/Arthur, Gwaine/Percy
Summary: Merlin really needs to finish this essay but the blokes playing footie are quite the sight
Word Count: 1331 (oops, sorry!)
Author's Notes: Have to save my beta’s energy for the big bang coming up :D
Merlin looked up. It seemed to be a good idea to take his laptop to the park to finish this assignment. At least, back when he had it. Now he wasn’t so sure. He needed to finish this or he would be in deep shit with Ms. Henderson in the morning. It wasn’t as if he didn’t have three weeks to work on this but he was always best under a bit of pressure and since the day was so nice and couldn’t be wasted sitting at his desk at home, he had grabbed his laptop and now sat in the park under a big tree, trying to come up with something decent so he wouldn’t fail his class.
It was just very difficult to concentrate. His eyes wandered to where some blokes about his age were playing footie. Not that he was interested in the footie, but wow, those guys were mighty fine to look at.
No, he needed to work, so he looked back at his screen. The book this essay was about had been a very boring read and he had forgotten most of it already, so he leafed through it again, took the pencil from behind his ear, made a note and then left the pencil between the pages before he typed two sentences.
Merlin looked up when he heard the name being yelled. Gwaine obviously was one of the guys kicking a football about, but which one? The tall one with the very short hair who had biceps bigger than Merlin’s thighs? Or the smallest of them who just laughed at something one of them had said?
Anyways, he needed to work on this and two more sentences were better than nothing. Rereading what he had so far, Merlin had a sinking feeling. This essay wouldn’t go down well with Ms. Henderson, no matter what he did to it. Sighing, he looked something up again and started writing the next paragraph.
Loud howling and cheering made him look up again. Merlin smiled, it seemed as if one of the blokes – the blond as it looked - had scored and his team was celebrating him while the others grumbled and threw him dark looks. Merlin wished he had friends. There was Will, alright, and Gwen, but that about summed his circle of friends up. Then again, he wasn’t too big on sports, so what would he do with friends who insisted on playing footie in the park every Sunday?
Merlin blushed when the blond caught him looking and turned back to his work. As much as he tried to block out the noises and the bloke’s mere existence, his eyes were drawn over to them again and again but he didn’t have time to daydream. This essay was important.
He startled when the ball landed right next to him.
The blond jogged over. “Sorry ‘bout that.”
“Oh, never mind.” Merlin swallowed hard and couldn’t help the heat rising into his cheeks as he looked up at the bloke. He was tall and had great blue eyes and a disarming smile that made Merlin’s insides flutter.
“Hey, how about…we always need more players. What do you think?”
Merlin’s mouth went dry. The blond wanted him to join the footie match? Merlin was good at a lot of things, he knew how to make a decent healthy meal, he stayed fit with yoga and he spoke a few languages. The one thing he was really crap at was footie. “I…” He shook his head. “You wouldn’t want that, trust me. I’m the worst player this side of the Atlantic.”
The blond laughed and Merlin noticed the others coming over, too. “What are you working on?”
Merlin rolled his eyes and blew out a sigh. “Essay for my lit class.”
Picking up the book, the blond turned. “Can you believe Henderson still tortures students with this boring piece of shit?”
Another tall guy with longish curly hair took the book from the other. “Oh no! I’m against burning books, but every single copy of this one should be piled on a huge stack and lit immediately.” He sat down next to Merlin.
“You aced that essay last year, Leon. Maybe you can help our friend?” The blond sat down, too, and the others invited themselves as well.
Merlin looked at them. Were they really friendly or were they just making fun of him?
“Alright. Let me see what you have so far?” Curly took Merlin’s laptop and started reading through the essay, making faces more than once.
“I knew it’s not the most brilliant thing I’ve ever written, but…is it really that bad?” From the corner of his eyes Merlin saw the one with the longest hair leaning against the tall one and pressing a kiss on his cheek. Where they a couple? Had Merlin been right thinking that they all were good boyfriend material?
“…are you even listening?”
Merlin blushed when Curly frowned at him. “Sorry, what?”
“You’re going in the wrong direction with this. If you hand it in the way it is, Henderson will have your arse.”
“Which would be a shame.” The blond grinned. “It’s a lovely arse.”
Merlin squirmed. He had been sitting on the arse in discussion, so how could the blond even know anything about it? “I’m…I’m Merlin. And you?”
“Arthur,” the blond said and then pointed to Curly. “Leon.” He turned. “The lovebirds there are Percy and Gwaine and the little one is Mordred. So,” he turned back to Merlin, “You’re not playing footie, what do you do other than sitting under trees in the park, writing shitty essays and looking gorgeous?”
Merlin blushed even more and didn’t even notice that Leon had started correcting his essay. “I…” Then he noticed the light blush on Arthur’s face, too. Maybe the big talk was just do mask that he was nervous? “I like the movies and going to the theatre.”
“Oh, an intellectual.” Arthur’s face fell.
Gwaine chuckled. “He might be able to teach you a thing or two, Arthur.”
“I like music and riding my bike and…” Don’t say it, Merlin, just don’t say it. “Yoga.” There, he said it. That was usually the point where guys lost all interest. They had no idea how exhausting yoga could be when done correctly.
“Sounds like you are really flexible, then.” Mordred smiled widely at him, but Merlin could see no malice in the smile.
He shrugged. “Yeah…probably.”
“Would you…I don’t know…do people who do yoga like to go for a drink, too? There’s this place around the corner from the south end of the park that has great iced tea.” Arthur threw him a look and then fiddled with the football in his hands.
“Yes,” Merlin tried to keep the giggle in that was building up in his throat. “People who do yoga like to go for a drink, too. And sometimes they even like iced tea.” He beamed.
“Oh,” Arthur’s face fell again. “But you don’t.”
Percy groaned, reached over and slapped the back of Arthur’s head lightly. “Sometimes you’re dumber than me. Leon, show him.”
Leon typed up something on Merlin’s computer and then turned the screen. “YES, I’D LIKE TO GO FOR AN ICED TEA WITH YOU, ARTHUR.” It read.
Merlin blushed deeper and nodded, throwing Arthur a shy look.
“I’m thirsty, too.” Mordred complained and got up.
“Me, too,” Gwaine did the same and pulled Percy up. “Are you going to buy me an iced tea?”
Arthur jumped up and held out his hand so he could pull Merlin up.
“But…my essay.” He mumbled.
Leon closed the laptop and scrambled up, too. “I can finish that while we’re all having an iced tea.”
Merlin beamed as they left the park. It looked as if he made some new friends and if all went well, he might even get a bit of alone time with Arthur later. By the looks Arthur threw him, he was hoping that as well.