Memo: I know this isn't Bringing Back Technicolor, but at least I'm still alive. I've had some serious problems channeling Artemis, but I promise I am trying to get around it. While that's strugglin' it's way into existence, I give you some Finnemas to tide you over.

Lessons

All I can think is that it must a kind of rebellion,

To arm these fears like soldiers and slay them

St. Bartleby's wasn't exactly what one might call a large school. Designed and created solely to house, educate and shelter the sons of wealthy influential businessmen the boarding school rarely capped more than 1,000 students at a time. Among these children only a select few really stood out. None more so than Artemis Fowl the Second: loaded, brilliant and brimming over with a complete and utter distaste for absolutely everybody he happened to meet.

Finnegan Holtecombe never stood a chance. Not really. He'd been attracted to boys before, but never anything like this. Artemis Fowl had him hooked after their first meeting: an event that had been quickly followed by his first brutal, scathing, and oh so public rejection. Just like that, Finn found himself developing a liking for boys who came up with insults longer and loftier than their own names.

When Artemis had asked if Finn needed help in Maths, he hadn't questioned the action. When the genius had insisted they get a private room in the library Finn hadn't even raised an eyebrow. If Artemis Fowl wanted to take a personal and unwarranted interest in his life, Finn wasn't exactly going to stop him. He wouldn't even put up a fight.

Just like that, Finnegan found himself in the vastly unused school library on a Monday night sitting across from the only verified genius he'd ever met, pretending he needed help in Maths.

"It's simple, Finnegan," Artemis sounded irate as though the problem Finn had forced him to go over five times already had physically harmed him. "All you have to do is-"

Ignoring any forms of social niceties Finn cut in. "Listen, we both know I have absolutely no need for a Maths tutor."

Artemis's lips formed a thin line and he stared at the other boy defiantly, but said nothing.

"Why do you really want me here, Artemis?"

Again the only answer he received came in the form of a ringing silence. He supposed if he really wanted to he could wait out Artemis Fowl's stubbornness. After all, Artemis would have to tell him eventually. Fowl wanted something and as far as Finn could tell when Artemis wanted something he usually got it. All he had to do was wait around long enough to figure out what that something was. So Finn templed his fingers delicately, rested his chin on top of them and stared right back.

For a while no sound passed between them. Steady breathing and the distant sound of turning pages filled the air, coupled only with the scuffing of chairs on carpet and the hum of nearby computers. Neither boy backed down, their eyes locked on each other, mouths solidly and stubbornly shut. Seconds ticked into minutes. Silence held.

"If you're trying to out wait me," Artemis said delicately. "You're wasting your time."

"Am I?" Finnegan replied his deep brown eyes still bearing into Artemis. "I know you may think you're completely unflappable, but I'm best friends with Jacob Douglass. If I can out wait his stubborn ass I can certainly out wait yours." He grinned as Artemis scowled. "Besides, whatever you need from me you must need it soon and in private. I could leave here and you'd never get it. Somehow I don't think that's really what you want."

"Just like everyone else in this pitiful excuse for a school, you have used what little brains you have and as usual come to the wrong conclusion. If I needed anything from you I would have taken it from you already."

Never a time like the present to test a bluff. Standing up, Finn pushed his chair back from the table and made for the door. "In that case, you won't mind if I leave now. Jacob and I have to see a man about a monkey."

He had his hand on the doorknob when Artemis finally stopped him.

"Fine, I need you. Sit back down."

Feeling immensely satisfied Finnegan obeyed with a smug look on his face.

"Wipe that idiotic look off your face." Artemis snapped. "There's absolutely no need to get so besotted with yourself."

"See that, that right there is the reason everyone here hates you." Finn pointed out calmly, although the smug look did slide a tad.

"It's hardly my fault that this school has the collective IQ of a chimpanzee."

"Just because we're not all child prodigies doesn't mean we have the collective IQ of a chimpanzee." Finn pinched his nose, praying for patience. God Artemis was really lucky he was too goddamn attractive. Otherwise Finn might've punched him by now. "My friends and I spent a month figuring out how to do rig the school plumbing so the water foundations shot Irish soda instead of water. As purveyor of all knowledge ever to touch the face of the Earth, I'm sure you know that wasn't a simple process."

Artemis couldn't seem to decide whether he should look disgusted or impressed. After a few moments of silence he said, "That is the biggest waste of time I have ever heard."

"I believe you mean: the most delicious waste of time you've ever heard." Finn corrected. "Now tell me what you want."

Adam's apple bobbing slightly, Artemis refused to speak for another moment longer. If he had a penny for every second the pair had spent in silence thus far, Finn reckoned, he would have one shit ton of pennies.

"I was serious about seeing the man about a monkey." He threatened, pushing his chair back just to goad the other boy into speech.

"Ineedyoutoteachmehowtokiss." Artemis said very fast, staring at a place somewhere to the left of Finn's shoulder.

"Excuse me?" Finn asked after a beat, running a hand through his wavy brown hair. The words had not yet sunk in. Surely Artemis had not asked him to teach the boy to kiss. Surely he'd asked for something else. How to dismiss someone, maybe. Or how to diss someone. Both of these options seemed highly unlikely, as Fowl had a long and colorful history detailing his ability to do both activities with much vigor, vitriol and oomph.

"You heard me perfectly."

"I really think I didn't." Finn said still refusing to believe he had heard the boy correct. Surely not…

"I need you to teach me how to kiss." Fowl drew out every word with the suffering air of someone forced to talk to someone they found completely unpleasant.

Now it was Finn's turn to stare in silence. Why on Earth did Artemis Fowl want to learn to kiss? Surely Artemis hadn't suddenly developed a love life. Unbidden jealousy churned in Finns stomach and he bit the inside of his lip to stop himself from actually growling. Who Artemis wanted to spend time swapping spit with fell squarely into the category of things Finnegan Had No Right To Care About In The Slightest. He couldn't even ask, because this awkward exchange counted as the single conversation the pair had ever had that hadn't ended with Artemis calling Finnegan something undoubtedly horrible and stinging that the other boy could barely understand.

"Who on Earth could you possibly want to kiss?" Finn blurted out, despite the fact he'd forbidden himself from doing so not five seconds before.

"No one in particular." Artemis waved a hand vaguely, looking properly uncomfortable and rather like someone had just poured a bucket of ice down the back of his impeccable Prada suit. "Eventually however, against all better judgment and forethought someone is going to come along and cause my hormones to go absolutely crazy, and they will tell my brain I want to kiss them, and then my brain will tell my body and-"

"Please stop." At some point during Artemis's little speech, quite possibly when Artemis had started blathering about hormones, Finn had dropped his head to the table and buried it deep within the fortress of his arms. "Please stop right this very minute, before I'm forced to do something drastic."

"What?"

"Bloody hell. You…you…" For a moment, he didn't even know what to say. "You are doing it all so completely arseways."

Now Artemis just seemed vexed. "Are you going to teach me how to kiss or not?" He snapped.

"No one," The words came out muffled as if they couldn't quite fight their way over the sleeves of Finn's shirt. "I repeat, no one, is going to want to kiss you if you go around talking about wanting to kiss someone like it's some sort of disease."

'Except for maybe me,' he added silently before deciding he was completely and utterly hopeless in almost every way.

"I am stating scientific fact." The put-off look on Artemis's face didn't quite appear to fit with the rest of his haughty features. "If it weren't for hormones no one would ever want to kiss anyone. Chemicals are really the only reason anyone-"

Finn sat up leaned across the table and placed one large hand firmly on Artemis's mouth.

"Right. Right. I'll help you. Rule number one of learning how to kiss someone: Shut up."

Artemis's lips parted beneath his palm, and Finn found himself enjoying the feeling just a fraction more than might have been necessary. He ploughed on before Artemis could move his lips any farther.

"Honestly Artemis, all of your sex appeal goes straight out the window once you start speaking. So rule one: just shut up. Insulting people you want to make out with has absolutely never worked for anyone. Ever."

"Sex appeal?" The genius managed to mumble beneath the confides of Finn's palm, and the other boy couldn't help but notice the blush ghosting Artemis's deathly pale cheeks.

"Yes sex appeal, you absolute caffler." A certain fondness had crept into Finn's voice that he couldn't control and he finally removed his hand from his colleague's face. "Even a right bloody arsehole like yourself has it. How many birds throw themselves at you when you go places, Artemis?"

The genius didn't quite seem to get the question. "Butler neutralizes any threat to my person."

"Oh god. Oh Jaysus bloody Christ. You have your bodyguard neutralize any bird who comes near you? Oh I wish I didn't know you weren't joking. Christ, Artemis no wonder you need someone to teach how to kiss."

The longer Finn spent in the genius's presence the more his composure seemed to slip away. He had never spent this much time around the other boy before. To say it made him nervous wouldn't exactly cut it. To say it thrilled him half to death wouldn't do either. Around Artemis, Finn didn't know how to act. With Raleigh and Jake everything came easy: he became a little of himself, a dash of the stereotypical gay man, and a couple of pinches of devious thrown in just for shits and giggles. With his classmates all he had to do was slip on a mask: remain refined, half-mute and genuinely kind. With teachers he could play the: look at me, I actually know how to use my brain! card. Artemis threw everything off. There was no point trying to impress him as he firmly believed, rightfully so, that no one could really compare with him. It threw Finnegan right off kilter. Any composure, any sort of control he had ever had over this situation, began to slowly slip from his grasp.

Affronted Artemis glared at him. "How are attacks on my person amusing to you?"

"No, no there's nothing grand about attacks on your person." Finn said hurriedly.

"Then what's the next rule of kissing someone?"

Finn leaned back in his chair content to observe his prey. His brown eyes took in absolutely every inch of Artemis's skinny white boy millionaire body as if planning a method of attack.

"When you kiss someone," he said at last. "You want your lips moist, but too much more than that. Usually people tend to lick their lips first. Try that."

Artemis licked his lips and Finn shuddered.

"Absolutely not. You look like a dog lickings its chops. Not attractive at all. Here, watch." He ran his tongue gently and quickly along the outline of his own lips. "Like that. Try again."

With a look of concentration that Finn didn't really this sort of situation merited Artemis ran his tongue across his lips again, slower this time and less like a dog.

"Well that was good." Finn managed once he finally found his voice. "Good, but not great. You can do better, you're Artemis fucking Fowl. Again. Less slobber."

For the next five minutes Finnegan watched Artemis wet his lips in a way that really ought to be illegal. The boy had mastered it around minute three, but by then Finn didn't really have the heart to stop him. He just looked so…good sitting there over-thinking how one went about licking their lips. Besides he rarely ever got an excuse to stare at the boy he fancied the pants off of like this.

Finally Holtecombe stood up and walked around the table, dragging out a chair to sit in front of Artemis. "I can't exactly talk you through the rest of it. Kissing is more of a…show then tell activity."

"You're going to kiss me." Artemis said flatly.

"Glad you figured that out. Really clears things up." Finn bit back, sarcastic and nervous.

"I fail to see why that would be necessary."

"Listen, you asked me to teach you how to kiss, so I am. The fact you asked one of the six out gay boys at this school isn't my problem. But the truth is Artemis, I'm the only one within a ten-mile radius who can stand you and you came to me for help. Homosexuality doesn't catch, if that's what you're worried about." The last sentence came out with a bit more bite than strictly necessary.

"Of course I know homosexuality doesn't catch." Artemis scoffed, blue eyes guarded.

"Then what's got your knickers in a knot, genius?"

"I just fail to see how a practical approach is necessary. Speaking worked perfectly fine just now." The boy fidgeted and things fell into place. Nervous. Artemis Fowl was nervous.

"You can't learn kissing from word of mouth and books. Not really. Like I said: It's more of a show then tell experience."

A terse, thick silence enveloped the room. Finn could practically see the cogs of Artemis's mind whirring, weighing all the pros and cons, determining any possible side effects. They stared at each other briefly before Artemis waved a hand in between them and said, "Get on with it then, won't you?"

"Remember what I taught you Artemis, and shut up." Finn teased lightly as he leaned forward.

Neither of them said a word as Finn drew closer but Artemis's eyes grew steadily colder and even more steadily wider the nearer Finn's face came to his own. Finally Holtecombe stopped with inches between them. His hands had braced themselves on either side of the genius's chair.

"Just before you kiss someone, you're going to want to tilt your head," Finn said readily staring his crush in the eyes as he turned his head very slightly to the left. "Like so. Now any chances of accidentally break your object of fancy's nose decrease significantly."

Finn could practically see the pulse racketing in Artemis's neck, could practically feel his Adam's apple bobbing furiously. "Nose breaking?"

"Yes. It's happened to Jacob a few times, the poor sod."

For a moment, a brief almost unnoticeable moment, Artemis Fowl looked almost…jealous. "How would you know?"

Quirking an eyebrow, Finn responded. "I've seen the girls he's damaged. Jake means well, but he uh, gets a little too enthusiastic at times. May I continue teaching you now? Thank you."

He continued leaning in until the space between them ceased to exist. Their lips touched. Nothing spectacular happened, not really. Good thing Finn hadn't expected any fireworks. Artemis had frozen the moment their lips locked, leaving it up to his somewhat unorthodox teacher to do all the work. Very slowly Finn began to move his lips against Artemis's attempting to draw some sort of reaction out of the boy. After a few more moments of this Finn drew back.

"Usually, when someone kisses you, you kiss back." He commented idly. "Just a word of advice."

Artemis blinked for a minute. "How? Do I kiss back. How do I kiss back?"

"Moving your lips help." He replied mildly. "Listen Artemis, I'm sure somewhere deep, deep…deep down, underneath all those layers of pretentious jackassery some part of you has a vague suspicion of how to move your lips when someone's kissing you."

"I assure you that place does not exist."

Finn shot him a withering look, clearly not amused. "Just…try to do what I'm doing, alright?"

He waited a moment to make sure Artemis nodded before leaning back in to kiss him again.

As far as second kisses went, Finn supposed this one wasn't all that horrible. At least this time he wasn't the one doing all of the work, certainly an improvement. His lips moved and Artemis's mirrored them and for a little while he could forget that none of this meant anything and lose himself in the sensation of kissing and Artemis's awkward, fumbling lips. It might not feel fantastic, but it certainly felt good.

"See? Not so hard." Finn felt a wave of almost pride in his own teaching style as he pulled back. "You're certainly improving."

Artemis mumbled something indistinct, a flush gathering in his cheeks.

"Perhaps this time you can graduate to using your hands."

"Hands? Since when did kissing involve hands?"

Finn rolled his eyes, praying for a moment to a god he didn't believe in for patience. "Believe it or not, people do like to touch people they happen to be swapping spit with." He removed his hands from the chair's arms and placed them instead somewhere just above the other boy's hipbones.

Artemis appeared to be having a mild aneurism.

Concerned, Finn searched his face as if it would provide answers before remembering that the only person who ever really touched Artemis was, well, Artemis. The poor bastard probably barely understood what physical contact was.

"Relax Artemis. I'm touching your waist, not attempting to throw you into a pit of lava."

For some reason, Artemis did not seem convinced.

"Honestly Artemis, this is hardly Armageddon."

"I'm not used to touching."

"No shit, Sherlock." Finn said dryly. "A brain-dead chimpanzee could figure that out. Hell, a zombie could figure that out. Of course, the zombie would then proceed to eat your brains, so by then it would probably be more of a moot point."

"Don't you have a job to do?"

"Is it a job? I was under the impression I wasn't getting paid for this." Finn took almost sadistic delight in teasing Artemis. Not exactly the best way to convince him that they should continue this kissing business even after he'd learned how, but it still seemed justified. After all, the first time they'd met, Artemis had called him an overdressed caveman. Hardly the best way to make an acquaintance.

"I thought the first rule of kissing was to shut up." Artemis snapped.

"No darling, your first rule of kissing is to shut up. No offense, but you've got a bark like a pit bull. Interactions with normal, well-adjusted humans don't tend to go well for you."

"You just called me darling."

Finn blinked. Shite. Hadn't meant for that to slip out. "I call a lot of people darling. No need to feel so special. Should we get back to it then?"

Artemis nodded.

"Remember: move your lips, use your hands." He reminded before closing his eyes and kissing Fowl a third time.

He could feel unsteady hands come to rest on his hips and he couldn't help the thrill in his chest. By now he was perched on the edge of his seat, fingers no longer tentative on Artemis's hips. Instead they gripped the fabric of Fowl's dress shirt with mild possessiveness. Artemis had finally begun to pick up the swing of things. His lips moved on their own accord now, still a little wary yet not nearly as timid.

When Finnegan pulled back his face, he found himself flushed and working towards breathless. "Better. Much better." He muttered. The snide remarks that he had built up inside him earlier seemed to have vanished in the wind. Perhaps teaching Artemis how to kiss effectively hadn't been a wise idea. If they kept up at this point, Finn wouldn't have sense left in his body when they finished. He didn't allow the genius to respond. Instead he pulled the boy closer by his hips and kissed him again.

By now Artemis's hands on his waist felt less like props and more like actual human hands. He could feel fingers curling into his sides and for a moment he had to bite back a whimper. Right. Time to up the anty. Finn parted his lips and slid his tongue over Artemis's mouth, tasting the salt and the nerves and something that might have been Chapstick.

With a yelp, Artemis's hands flew off of Finn and he pushed his chair back at once separating them. His ice blue eyes wide he hissed, "What in the name of all that is holy was that?"

Had he not known its complete truth, Artemis's innocent virgin act might have taken him by surprise. Right now, however, all it did was piss him off.

"That was my tongue, Fowl."

"I know that! What was it doing in my mouth?" he sounded furious, almost betrayed.

"It wasn't in your mouth yet." Finn said patiently, gesturing for the boy to scoot closer again. "Although that was the point of my little move. Glad you picked that much up."

The distance between them didn't shrink an inch.

"Why on Earth would you want to put your tongue in my mouth? That's completely unsanitary, not to mention vulgar."

"Most people find it very enjoyable."

"I am not most people."

Obviously they had taken things two steps backwards and five to the left. Not exactly the direction Finn wanted this to move in. Heaving a large, theatrical sigh he sat back in his chair, drumming his fingers on the arm and regarding Artemis speculatively.

"I seem to have offended you," Finn began softly. "Perhaps we should rewind a tad. How long do you have this room?"

Thrown off by this new line of questioning Artemis blinked. "Until ten."

Finn nodded. It was only 8 at the moment they had two hours. "Alright then. We can take things slow. Start talking about something. Talk about anything you like, I couldn't give a shit. Just make yourself comfortable here in this room with me." He had to get the other boy back to a place where he wouldn't freak out every time Finn touched him.

"Honestly I fail to see how you think this will help."

"Everything seems easier when you're comfortable." He replied. "Now go on, start blathering."

It took a few moments, but Artemis eventually started talking again. He prattled on about particle physics for a while whilst Finn tried his best not to fall asleep. It took Finn almost falling out the chair for him to get the social cue of: dear god, boring! After that Artemis stuck to talking about bank robberies, folklore, crazy historical figures and organized crime. Not exactly things you would expect a 15-year-old boy to have a wealth of knowledge about. Then again, this was Artemis Fowl and he had Finnegan Holtecombe on the edge of his seat.

Quite literally on the edge of his seat, actually. Over the past half an hour of listening to Artemis speak Finn had slowly but steadily edged and oriented himself closer to and around the other boy. Nothing too drastic, just quiet movements towards Artemis. The more comfortable Artemis got with his line of conversation, the closer Finn would scoot. By now their knees knocked together. Artemis did not have appeared to notice.

"I'm going to sit in your chair with you now, if you don't mind." Finn said neutrally, not moving quite yet as he watched Artemis. The genius seemed to be in the middle of internal argument Finn could see it written all over his face. They sat there.

Finally he broke down. "Very well then." Artemis said as he smoothed the front of his suit. "Did you know how that Rasputin died from hypothermia?" He informed the boy now carefully crawling his way into the small straight-backed library chair. "That wasn't originally how Prince Yusupov wanted him dead. They tried to poison him with cyanide first." Artemis watched curiously as Finn swung his legs over his lap and under one of the arms of the chair. "It didn't work, so they shot him in the back. Rasputin fell over, and the Prince checked him for life. He appeared for all intents and purposes to be dead."

"You just told me he died from hypothermia."

The look Artemis shot him could wilt flowers. "He did, if you would let me finish speaking long enough to explain."

Heaving an exaggerated fake sigh Finn settled down in Artemis's chair, his back up against one arm and his feet hanging over the edge on the other side. Their bodies touched in several places: Finn's thighs rested lightly on Artemis's hip on one side, his calves brushed Artemis's other hip, and their arms brushed against each other's. Without a doubt, this was the closest Finn had ever managed to get to a boy. Usually he got rejected long before this even became an idea in the back of his head.

Feeling more comfortable than this situation warranted Finn sat there and let the words wash over him. Never in his 15 years of life had he considered this as an option for himself; happy, relaxed and with a boy he definitely cared for. As a Catholic gay boy in an all-boys school he had pretty much written himself off for a lost cause. Not one gay boy in their right minds would feel comfortable enough in this school to make a move on any one. Well, no gay boy except for him, apparently. After all here he sat, in Artemis goddamn Fowl's lap, listening as the boy prattled on about Rasputin and Bolshevik Russia.

Forgetting himself he picked up Artemis's hand from where it rested on the arm of the chair. Artemis shot him a questioning look. Finn ignored it. After all, Artemis didn't seem to have any problems with it he wasn't forcibly removing his hand. Instead, Finn threaded their fingers together, loving the way they intertwined, loving the look of his skin on someone else's. Briefly, he ran his thumb over the bare skin of Artemis's hand for no other reason than the fact that he could.

"I want this, someday." He said abruptly, cutting off Artemis before the boy had even opened his mouth to continue Rasputin's most unfortunate tale.

"You want to sit in someone else's chair with them as they teach you about tsarist Russia? Interesting life choice, truly, although I am sure you'll find that-"

"Jaysus you're a literal eejit. No. I want to hold someone's hand. I want to sit in public, and hold someone's hand without ridicule. I want what all of my friends take for granted because they've never known anything different. Raleigh and Deidre, they can stroll down the street hand in hand without a care in the world. If they felt so inclined, they could make out in public for hours. No one would even give them a second glance. The moment I want to go out with a boy, I have to make sure he's okay with facing public ridicule every day of his life. I have to hold his hand in private, where no one could see us just to make sure that we won't get hurt for it later. Every time I want to kiss him, I have to consider where I am and whom I am with. If I even want to think about getting married, I'll have to move to one of the ten countries in the world that currently accept my brand of love as legitimate.

"Do you know how many species on this earth exhibit homosexual tendencies?"

"1,500." Artemis replied automatically, as if he physically couldn't stop himself from answering questions. "Including 20% of birds and mammals."

Thrown for a loop Finn blinked. "Right. I forgot you'd actually answer that."

"Homophobia, on the other hand is only exhibited in humans. I've done my research Finnegan." Artemis replied, and not for the first time tonight Finnegan wondered why Artemis had really brought him here.

"Why are you here, Artemis?" He asked.

"I believe we have already covered this topic of conversation." Artemis quipped, walls flying back up just as Finn had finally noticed they'd come down.

Well shite. Either he had to back paddle like a drowning man or plough on to certain death. He always had been a bit of a masochist. Certain death it was, then. Forward ho.

"Really? Because I'm getting the feeling that somewhere down the line the reasoning changed."

"Why on Earth would you think that? You're here to teach me how to kiss, because I will not be made a fool of later in my life when such actions become necessary."

"Right. Which is exactly why you're still holding my hand."

For a brief moment Artemis looked as if he might throw Finnegan forcibly from his lap. Trying his best to stay calm and collected Finn didn't so much as move a muscle. He didn't let go of the other boy's hand either. Let Artemis decide that.

Their hands stayed together, gently clasped, as the two boys battled it out with eye contact: Artemis brine and fury, Finnegan blasé.

"You don't often call people 'darling'." Artemis stated at last still point blank refusing to break eye contact. "I know, as I have spent time observing you in the past."

"Observing me?"

"Yes, idiot, observing you." The younger boy snapped. "I needed to make sure you'd fit my purposes. Thorough background checks were run, and when I needed more data I acquired it."

Oddly touched Finn stared at his classmate with a mixture of bemusement and affection. Only when talking to Artemis fucking Fowl would background checks on potential kissing partners makes it in to the norm. Bless. Honestly.

"So basically, you were checking me out."

The statement proved more than worth it as a dull flush spread across Artemis's face and down his neck. "I was not!" He protested hotly.

Arching an eyebrow, Finn let the subject drop. "You caught me. I don't normally call people 'darling'."

"Do you normally shove your tongue in people's mouths?" Artemis asked, tetchy.

"When they want me to, yes. Normally they don't. You know for school full of blokes, gay guys don't usually get much action."

Watching Artemis flustered was vastly becoming one of Finn's favorite pastimes. Maybe he'd want lessons in other forms of basic school interaction and this could become a normal thing. Better yet, maybe he wanted what Finn wanted and this would definitely become a normal thing. Sure he had roughly the chance of a snowball in hell, but perhaps hell had gotten a little icy lately. After all the boy had come here asking for kissing lessons. Surely that meant something, something that might not be completely heterosexual. A boy could dream at the very least.

"Is there a point to this little mind game you're trying to play?"

"This isn't a mind game, Artemis it's a conversation. And all I want to know is why you're really here."

Breaking eye contact for the first time since Finn had brought the subject up Artemis turned to stare at the clock hanging in the corner. "I have this room for 45 more minutes." He stated.

Finn stayed mum working instead on resisting the urge to rub circles in the junction between the other boy's thumb and pointer finger.

"I wasn't lying when I said I wanted preparation for the future. You weren't lying when you said you wanted to hold someone's hand." He paused. "I don't pretend to have any sort of mastery of emotions, Finnegan. Mostly I find them hindrances, they cloud my brain with useless information and detract from the time I could spend thinking about more lucrative things."

"Well aren't you just a bright little ray of sunshine." Finn couldn't help but mutter.

"Shut up, I'm talking." The genius snapped.

Bright little ray of sunshine, indeed.

"I don't…this has not been easy for me, Finnegan. I understand every single chemical and neural reaction that led me here. You're…smarter than the rest of these idiotic testosterone monkeys. Normally, of course you're just as bad as the whole lot of them."

After they finished their lesson on kissing perhaps Finn ought to give him a lesson on compliments. Backhanded compliments and putdowns didn't really do much for the romantic mood, or any positive mood for that matter.

"But Jaysus," Artemis continued on as if he hadn't even noticed his unconventional teacher's annoyance. "When you're thinking it's, it's brilliant what you come up with, it's…it's almost like me."

Well that was obviously as a close to an open-handed compliment as Finn would ever get from this boy.

Clearing his throat Finn tried and failed not to look incredibly impatient.

"The point then, Finnegan." Artemis moved his fingers across Finn's skin in a move surely meant to act reassuring. "You are nearly as intelligent as I am when you so choose. And I would very much like it if, later on, you wouldn't terribly mind putting your tongue in my mouth again."

Completely unable to help himself Finn burst out into laughter. "So, you were checking me out, this entire lesson was a poorly thought out decoy, and you'd like it to happen again. Does that about sum it up then?"

Finn watched Artemis's eyes grow cold with defiance.

"I thought, based on my observations, that this particular turn of events would please you. If it doesn't then we can both very happily leave and forget the entire thing ever happened."

"Never said it didn't please me, darling." Finn reassured the other boy quickly an amused smile still lingering across his lips. "Just thinking you have a very roundabout approach to flirting. And pick-up lines. Those might need some work as well."

"What do you suggest, for next time, oh never failing spring of romantic knowledge?" Artemis quipped and Finn could definitely get used to this.

"For one, don't ask to tutor the second best student in your Maths class."

Artemis scoffed.

"Secondly, you could've just asked like a normal person. A simple: Hey Finnegan want to kiss the fucking daylight of me in the library now? Would've sufficed." Finn leaned forward, more than happy to trail a little row of kisses up and down Artemis's jaw line.

"Hey Finnegan," Artemis's voice came out slightly higher than Finn had ever heard it and he kissed the junction between the boy's jaw and his neck in victory. "Hey…Finnegan want to kiss the f-fucking daylight out of me in the library now? I've had lessons, I'm prepared."

"Of course I do, Artemis. Why didn't you just ask?"

This time when they kissed, Artemis used his hands. No noses were broken and lips were properly moist. They both kissed back, both pairs of lips moved and, eventually, tongue got involved. Oh yes. Finn could get used to this.


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