When Gwaine tells them during lunch at the school canteen about the sex chat room, Arthur outright tells him he’s mental. Judging by the face he pulls, Arthur bets Lance must be thinking the same as well.
Gwaine snorts and starts going on about how it’s just for fun, that it’s not like he’s showed anyone his face, and that it serves its purpose for the in between party times—which Arthur knows is when Gwaine usually gets laids.
“Seriously, you two are a pair of prudes,” Gwaine says, outraged at their faces.
Lance scowls a little but seems to actually take Gwaine’s words seriously. Arthur just eyes Gwaine, annoyed. “Not prudes, just decent,” he replies.
“Right,” Gwaine drawls, sprawling even more on his chair as he flips his hair from his face.
Arthur rolls his eyes at him and that’s the end of it.
Next, Lance begins talking about this curly-haired girl —Arthur thinks she’s called Gwen— he’s got a crush on, and Arthur huffs a long put-upon sigh and begins playing with the napkins on the table, letting Gwaine be the one to give Lance advice this time, even if it’s a lame one.
They don’t bring up the subject of the website anymore, though they do bring the Gwen subject up multiple times, much to Arthur’s boredom. Arthur forgets about it altogether until that Saturday night when Gwaine stands him up to go to Elena’s party (“You can’t come mate, you are not cockblocking me.”), Lance stands him up to go on his first date with Gwen, and his sister Morgana somehow manages to steal Arthur’s Xbox and take it to her room to play video games with her new boyfriend Leon.
So, all in all, Arthur’s alone and bored as fuck. When that happens he sometimes tends to think stupid things like maybe he could go into the page Gwaine mentioned; have a bit of a laugh. It’s not as if he’s thinking of actually have a wank with anyone in there, but just to kill time.
So he texts Gwaine about the site address and waits. He’s not expecting Gwaine to actually answer within a minute but the bastard does, telling him that the page’s name is ‘Camelot’s best’ and adding about twenty smug-faced emoticons that Arthur cleverly ignores.
Seriously, he’s not desperate like him, only just bored out of his mind.
After typing the name in the search bar, Arthur contemplates how is it possible he’s ended up in this situation when he’s one of the most popular people in his school. But then his sister’s annoyingly loud, witch laughter filters through the crack of Arthur’s bedroom door. As though to mock him that she’s having the time of her life playing with his Xbox with her boyfriend, and Arthur furiously clicks the enter button.
The page is actually quite simple; white background and a small blue window in the middle that asks for an username, age, and the option to upload a picture.
In the username bar Arthur types in ‘excalibur-long’ because well, it seems like a nice nickname; it’s self-explanatory and it’s got double meaning, and Arthur thinks the reference to his name and Excalibur is fucking brilliant, nevermind he’s the one that’s going to get it.
He doesn’t lie about his age because he’s not a pedo, and he obviously passes on the picture. Once he clicks ‘next’ the window gets a lot bigger and some sort of group chat appears on screen with a list of usernames and a small bar by the left.
Arthur watches the stupid comments on the group chat for a moment, snorting at some desperate propositions and surprised at some people’s ability to say ‘cock’ so many times in a sentence with it actually making sense. But when the messages start repeating themselves Arthur begins scrolling down through the bar with the usernames, only pausing when one catches his eye.
With a snort, Arthur opens a private window, feeling an odd thrill inside him as he writes with a smirk:
excalibur-long: wizard, huh?
The bloke —Arthur assumes it’s a bloke since it says ‘boy’, he only hopes it’s not a 7 year-old— begins typing. It’s only after Arthur’s written the message and he’s about to get an answer that he pauses, hesitates. He’s never been so forward with a guy, usually he’s way more suave.
wizardboy3: ready to work my magic on you
Arthur frowns, hard, but his lips quirk in a rueful, amused smirk. This is definitely going to be fun.
wizardboy3: sorry, that was a shitty pun
wizardboy3: that was probably not even a pun
wizardboy3: i take it back
Arthur stares at the screen for a moment, considering whether he should close the window and the chat and forget about this because this is so fucking ridiculous, or allow himself a moment of flirting.
excalibur-long: too late
excalibur-long: my eyes are already bleeding
wizardboy3: i can heal you with my magic wand
excalibur-long: please, stop
wizardboy3: ha, okay
wizardboy3: wait, i swear that wasn’t a sex innuendo
Nevermind it’s the stupidest conversation Arthur’s ever had with someone, he can’t deny the lunatic smile on his face.
excalibur-long: why haven’t you got a pic?
wizardboy3: you’ll fall in love
Arthur snorts out loud. This bloke is really a fan of sarcasm.
excalibur-long: not here for that
wizardboy3: i figured
wizardboy3: i was kidding
wizardboy3: it’s obvious why
Surprisingly, and although the bloke’s a bit odd, to say the least, Arthur feels comfortable enough talking with him. So what, he’s come here to have a laugh, but maybe there are some normal people in the chat he can actually speak with. So far Arthur wouldn’t mind engaging this guy into conversation.
But something inside him tells Arthur that he doesn’t do it. All the blokes Arthur’s been with have been secret flings at parties. Either guys that Arthur knew wouldn’t breathe a word to anyone because he wouldn't be seeing them again, or guys that were in the same situation as him. Arthur knows that here he can have an anonymous chat with a guy. But thing is, Arthur doesn’t want to want things he shouldn’t have. A part of him tells him that when he likes something more than he should, like a bloke, especially a bloke, he should stay away before it all blows up in his face.
Arthur isn't very comfortable with his sexuality yet, that's why he avoids exploring it as much as possible. Besides, Arthur doesn't even want to think about how his father would react if he found out that his son is a fagot, as he calls them.
Arthur makes up a quick, stupid excuse.
excalibur-long: sorry, if there's no pic i’m not interested
The bloke types something before deleting it and typing back again, and Arthur wonders if he’s making a mistake. He doesn’t have a pic either, he sounds stupid and unconvincing.
Finally, the guy answers:
wizardboy3: too bad
Arthur stares at the words for a beat. Before he can regret having said that he closes the chat window.
He thinks about closing the website altogether but he decides to talk to someone else so he doesn’t go with that feeling of utter failure in the pit of his stomach. But everyone else Arthur attempts a conversation with greets him either with ‘show me your dick’ or ‘u wanna fuck me?’ or other shit like that. Arthur doesn’t want to fall in love with anyone in the chat like the bloke had joked, but he isn’t looking to talk with a pervert either.
He goes to Facebook instead and comes across a few photos of the party Gwaine’s at tonight. Everyone's having so much fun by the looks of it. Gwaine, the bastard, is having so much fun in the photos, hugged to Elena, drink in hand and face blissed out. Arthur feels a bit like a loser for the first time in his life. He’s stuck here in his room, and not even here he allows himself to have something he wants. He realises that in the end there’s no one stopping him from being happy but himself.
So After struggling with the idea for like twenty seconds, Arthur finds Wizardboy3 again and reopens the private chat. If talking with this sarcastic idiotic Harry Potter fan gets a smile out of him, why the fuck should Arthur stay away from it. Whatever he writes in here, whatever he does, no one but him has to know. Here Arthur doesn’t have to pretend. He’s into blokes and he can talk openly with one here. He might not dare to in his school, but here he’s anyone he wants and he can have anyone he wants.
excalibur-long: how old are you?
The guy begins typing almost immediately.
wizardboy3: not that bothered about the pic thing anymore?
wizardboy3: i’m flattered
wizardboy3: and i’m 18
Arthur stares at the number. It’s just too good to be true.
excalibur-long: prove it
He doesn’t know why he blurts that. The bloke’s going to think he’s an utter idiot, because who in their right mind takes someone in these chats seriously.
wizardboy3: and how old are you? i hope you’re not a 50yr old
wizardboy3: i don’t talk to creeps
excalibur-long: yeah, pic or sth
excalibur-long: and i’m not, i’m the same age as you
Wizardboy3 seems to pause to read Arthur’s messages for a beat, maybe consider the pic request before he again types, deletes and types again like before.
wizardboy3: that’s my room
Below, a pic begins loading after it’s completely sent. Arthur wasn’t expecting the bloke would actually take a pic for him.
Arthur opens the file, eyes the picture for a beat. It definitely looks like it could belong to Arthur, if it wasn’t because Arthur’s got much more style and space. The room has only got a single bed, a bedside table, a chest of drawers to the side by the door and a small window to the left. There are also some posters plastered across the walls Arthur doesn’t recognise and some clothes strewn over the bed and the rug in a messy manner.
excalibur-long: how do i know it’s not from the internet?
excalibur-long: just record it with your cam now
wizardboy3: why all the fuss?
excalibur-long: i’ll show you mine too
excalibur-long: i wanna know who i’m talking to
wizardboy3: fiiiine. hold on a sec
Arthur does, and then after some fumbling, Arthur watches through the cam the guy turning the laptop around from his chest and hold it in his arms as he moves around the same room from the pic. After a swift turn, the cam points at the other side where there’s a desk and a small shelf stacked with more books Arthur’s read in his whole life—and the Harry Potter series is definitely there. His body doesn’t appear on screen at all, but when Wizardboy3 places his laptop on the desk Arthur sees his fingers poking from below a long sleeve and the cam goes off. It seems legit enough now.
excalibur-long: tell me you’ve not read all those books
excalibur-long: tell me i am not talking to a nerd, PLEASE
wizardboy3: sod off
wizardboy3: and show me your room
In return, Arthur does as he’s asked and gives Wizardboy3 a quick tour around his room with his laptop cam, too.
wizardboy3: wow, rich much?
wizardboy3: is that your room, really?
excalibur-long: yes, jealous?
wizardboy3: i didn’t know a teen was allowed to be rich
wizardboy3: i feel even poorer than before now
excalibur-long: not everyone can be me
wizardboy3: you’re a dick
wizardboy3: a rich dick
Arthur’s used to hearing that enough so he doesn’t care too much. People are always shocked when they see his house, and he guesses that in comparison to the bloke’s, Arthur’s room is pretty fucking awesome.
excalibur-long: you got a girlfriend?
wizardboy3: do you think i would be here if i had one?
excalibur-long: idk, i was just asking, making conversation
wizardboy3: well, that was a dumb question to ask
wizardboy3: i like dick
wizardboy3: just not rich dicks like you
excalibur-long: good, bc i don’t like nerds
excalibur-long: or idiots that make stupid magic puns
Arthur ponders if the bloke might close the chat window after that, but he doesn’t, and Arthur finds that he’s glad, because he’s curiously having a —if not nice— entertaining time. They are quiet for a while, and Arthur goes back to Facebook to see that Gwaine’s finally managed to hook up with Elena. Arthur doesn’t understand the need to post pictures of them making out, but Elena is shameless like that and Gwaine likes to show off even more than Arthur. They are as bad as each other.
When Arthur next looks at the clock he sees it’s 1:54AM. He checks the conversation to see that the guy hasn’t spoken but appears still online.
excalibur-long: u still there?
wizardboy3: yeah, just doing sth
Boldly, Arthur asks:
Arthur holds his breath when his mind immediately goes to dirty places. His fingers itch with anticipation as he writes.
excalibur-long: are you touching yourself?
There’s a pause, a too long pause, as Arthur waits. Blankly, he stares at the ‘Wizardboy3 is writing a message’ text until he finally answer.
wizardboy3: no, you git
wizardboy3: i’m just doing something i don’t want to tell you about
wizardboy3: which is the meaning of private
Embarrassed, Arthur feels his neck heat at that. But then something stirs low in his stomach when the bloke writes again.
wizardboy3: you want me to touch myself?
Arthur stares at the words, his heartbeat rate speeding up. Arthur wonders if that’s an offer, and if it is, if it’s a serious one. He has no idea what to answer, he has no idea what he wants. He doesn’t really mean to jerk off with anyone in here, but Arthur can’t deny that there’s certain appeal to this whole anonymous situation. In the end, is Wizardboy3 who takes it upon himself to answer and pull Arthur out of his misery.
wizardboy3: because i won’t
And well, Arthur has to admit the guy’s got attitude. And Arthur’s also got to admit that he’s fucking attracted by that. Not that he’s going to tell the bloke that.
excalibur-long: not that i’ve asked you to
After a moment, Arthur doesn’t really know why but he adds one more word:
Some seconds pass before the bloke answers him with a:
They go back to being in silence again, but this time, Arthur does it with a smile.
After Arthur hears the door to Morgana’s room clicking open and voices outside dimming as they disappear down the stairs, Arthur leaves his room for a bit to grab a snack from the kitchen. He finds his sister there, a dreamy but dangerous look on her face. Arthur always wonders how she manages that.
“How was your night, brat?” Arthur asks her, touching her head, knowing how much she hates that he messes her hair.
“Definitely better than yours,” she says smugly, slapping his hand away. “Considering I didn't spend it alone.”
“Whatever,” Arthur replies in annoyance, only hating her a little. He’s about to tell her that he’s also spending the night in the company of someone in a chat, but when he realises how it sounds he keeps the retort to himself. Instead, he opens the cabinet above the oven and grabs a bag of cheetos. “I want my Xbox in my room first thing in the morning,” he tells her before slipping away and trotting up the stairs.
When Arthur falls down on his desk chair the chat tab is flashing, so Arthur goes to see what Wizardboy3 has said, only feeling just a little bit excited.
wizardboy3: hey, gotta go
wizardboy3: i have to wake up early tomorrow
wizardboy3: you there?
wizardboy3: i know you’re an arse, but
wizardboy3: well, it was nice while it lasted
wizardboy3: see you, prat
“Fuck,” Arthur breathes when he finishes reading. Seriously, the bloke had to go just now. He’s got to be kidding.
excalibur-long: you gone already?
excalibur-long: will you be back tomorrow?
But the chat says he’s disconnected.
“Shit,” Arthur mumbles, staring at the screen. He waits a few minutes but the guy doesn’t come back. Feeling a bit off, Arthur eats his cheetos listlessly and listens dimly to Morgana’s irritating voice as she talks to one of her friends over the phone, saying how marvellous her date was and how she’s got Leon wrapped around her finger. Arthur pities the guy only just.
Closing the Safari window, Arthur turns his Macbook Pro off, then tosses the empty bag of cheetos to the bin below the desk and throws himself to bed, glancing out of the window.
He knows it’s silly to think that something important might come out of that sort of page, but truth is Arthur’s felt happy chatting with Wizardboy3 and he sort of wishes he could talk to him again some other day.
Knowing that tomorrow morning he’s got a footie match, though, Arthur does his best to fall asleep soon.
When Arthur arrives to the school the next morning, Gwaine’s annoyingly chirpy at finding Elena cheering for him from where she stands in the first row of the stands. Arthur just about manages not to roll his eyes at them. One thing is posting those pics on Facebook, but another is to go about rubbing in people’s faces that they fucked last night.
Lance, though, isn’t any better, because from what Arthur can see he’s talking to Merlin —he’s the weirdo from Arthur’s literature class— by the locker room for no other reason that because Merlin’s Gwen best friend. Lance is so obviously taken with her he’ll do anything to make her fancy him.
Arthur sometimes wonders about his mates.
The match goes alright for the most part considering they win 3-1 thanks to Arthur’s first goal and his last-minute penalty. After they get changed into proper clothes though, Gwaine says he’s going out with Elena and Lance tells him that he’s going for a bite with Gwen and Merlin. Arthur can’t fucking believe they are standing him up again. If things are going to be like this from now on, Arthur’s seriously going to need new friends to hang out with. And then, to make things even better, Lance proposes him to join them for lunch. Arthur obviously declines, rolling his eyes and telling Lance that he hates him and that he’s going home, ignoring the annoyed look Merlin throws his way.
The only reason why Arthur knows his name is because it’s hard to forget. Well, maybe also because Arthur sometimes picks on him some for fun during the breaks.
As soon as he’s home Arthur goes to the chat but Wizardboy3 isn’t there. Arthur waits all week, all nights checks if he appears connected but he never does. Just when Arthur has almost given up hope, his username shows up on the bar on Saturday night and Arthur jumps on his bed and opens a private window, acting casually.
excalibur-long: you still haven't’ found anyone magic like you?
wizardboy3: i thought i wouldn’t talk to you again
Arthur’s heart skips a beat. He isn’t sure if it’s in his head or not, but the guy sounds as though was expecting to talk to him again—as though he was hoping he would.
excalibur-long: you realised i’m too good for you, isn’t it?
wizardboy3: sod off
wizardboy3: and no, i mean
wizardboy3: you left
wizardboy3: you stopped answering me
Arthur stares at the bloke’s words. He’s about to explain the truth, say ‘I went to ask something to my sister and when I came back you were gone’ before he realises it sounds too lame. It would make him sound as though he was eager, interested, and even if Arthur was, is, he’s not about to admit it.
excalibur-long: your magic knocked me off for a bit there
It takes Wizardboy3 a beat to write.
wizardboy3: you are an ARSE
wizardboy3: like, i don’t even know why i’m talking to you again
Arthur smirks at the screen, amused at the guy’s outburst.
excalibur-long: you know why
excalibur-long: i’m irresistible
wizardboy3: you’re a big head
wizardboy3: i’m done talking to you
excalibur-long: come on
excalibur-long: don’t leave me
Arthur means it like a joke, he means it in a teasing manner, but since he isn’t saying it out loud and the words are just words on screen they lack of the tone Arthur meant for them. He realises a bit too late that it sounds just the opposite to what he had intended.
Wizardboy3 takes a moment before replying.
wizardboy3: can you say that again?
wizardboy3: “sure, i’m an arse, but i don’t want you to leave me”
wizardboy3: oh, you don’t?
wizardboy3: “no, as soon as i’ve seen you on the chat i’ve come back to talk to you”
wizardboy3: it’s true, now that you mention it
wizardboy3: “besides i’m rich and stuck-up, isn’t that cool?”
wizardboy3: right, i’m so impressed
wizardboy3: “also i have a hard time admitting it, but i so love your magic references, magic is brilliant”
wizardboy3: maybe i’ll stay for a bit longer after all
The guy goes into a bit of a soliloquium there but Arthur lets him be, quietly chuckling at the silly stuff he says. Arthur smiles, because if he’s not mistaken, the bloke seems almost as glad as he feels to have come across each other again. Only he has a funny way of showing it—he’s strange as fuck.
excalibur-long: you done?
wizardboy3: yeah :)
For a beat, Arthur wishes he could see the guy’s face, see if he’s smiling at his own stupidity, too, the same way Arthur is.
excalibur-long: you’re really weird
wizardboy3: what can i say, it’s a part of my charm
Arthur snorts, getting more comfortable on the bed and trying hard to fight that feeling inside him telling him that the bloke’s attitude is indeed, for some fucking reason, kind of charming.
Since it takes Arthur a beat to reply, the bloke types again:
wizardboy3: do you uh
wizardboy3: like, do you wanna keep talking to me?
wizardboy3: or have i weirded you out forever?
Arthur’s pulse begins racing at the question. Wizardboy3 is a bit of an idiot. He seems insecure all of a sudden, and even though Arthur likes it, he likes the sarcastic ridiculous side of him a lot more.
excalibur-long: i think that, for the common good, i should keep talking to you
excalibur-long: we wouldn’t want you to weird anyone else out, right?
excalibur-long: you might get blocked, or banned from the chat or sth worse
This time, the bloke doesn’t shoot Arthur any witty retort, instead, he speaks seriously.
wizardboy3: do you wanna just talk?
Arthur doesn’t get it until he does. The guy means wanking.
excalibur-long: i think so
Arthur doesn’t know the way the bloke looks like. Maybe he’s chubby, he’s got his face full of acne and wears braces, or maybe he’s super fit, has sexy green eyes or loves sports like him. Arthur doesn’t know, but either way he doesn’t care. He’s found a guy whom he can talk to; a guy that’s gay and his same age, and even though he seems a total nerd so far, Arthur wants to see where this might lead to. He’s always in time to bail out later.
excalibur-long: i mean, at least for now
He can’t believe he’s added that. But Wizardboy3 doesn’t seem to freak out.
wizardboy3: sounds good
Arthur looks at Wizardboy3’s response: okay. Sounds good.
They are doing this, whatever this is.
Arthur’s heart is about to burst from his chest at how hard it’s pumping. In eighteen years, this is the first time Arthur’s talking to a bloke that makes him feel alright with himself. It may have something to do with the fact that the guy doesn’t know him, and that Arthur can chat to him without the fear of being caught, or it could as well have something to do with Wizardboy3 himself.
Arthur isn't sure yet, but he knows he’s got a hell of a lot of time to find out.