Certain Truths Cannot Be Denied: A Short “Stan and Ari Get Together” Story
Characters: Ari/Marlene, Stan/Ari
Summary: Stan walks in on Ari and Marlene experimenting. Ari realizes some things about himself in the process.
Ari wasn’t sure what exactly he had in mind when he agreed to this little arrangement, but it certainly wasn’t this. Now, pants around his ankles, shirt shoved back across his shoulders and cheeks beet red, he felt like a naïve idiot. Stan’s shocked face did more for him than Marlene’s touch ever did.
She had approached him earlier that day, and even then he noticed something was odd about her stance, her expression. But he brushed it off, and answered her demands, nodding along politely. She started off smoothly enough, her high, haughty voice relating him facts known to both of them: “We’re nearly adults,” “others younger than us have been together—look at your sister,” “you don’t want to be virgin when you’re eighteen, do you?” Ari had to admit, the last knocked him through a loop for a moment. Marlene brushed up against him, a world-less girl’s attempt at seduction. She grabbed his hand, and he allowed her to drag him up to his bedroom.
He expected it to be hotter than it was. Marlene dove at him, and he kissed her; but when her tongue touched his, he felt more like he was merely going through the motions than experiencing any real desire for her—or anything she could offer. Marlene didn’t seem to notice as she wrestled him out of his vest and unbuttoned his shirt. When she pushed it over his shoulders, her lips left his to trail across the exposed chest. Ari lifted his head to the ceiling then, and suddenly found himself to be content in counting the cracks in the old wooden boards. He was somewhat glad they weren’t kissing anymore—Marlene tasted like spit and nothing else. Distantly his body was getting aroused by her attention, but it was like listening to a conversation from another room.
Marlene giggled as she opened his pants. “I’ve never seen…. I’ve never seen it before.” Her red eyes blinked up at his. Ari shrugged. Marlene trained her gaze back at Ari’s front. “Aren’t… aren’t you going to touch me?” She questioned. Ari reached out for her shoulders. She sighed and stood still to allow him full access, but Ari didn’t know what to do. He reached down to cup her breast, but only because he thought that was what he was supposed to do. Marlene arched her back into his touch. Ari stared at his hand. He was suddenly wracked with the bizarreness of the situation. Certainly by now he would be feeling something? Him, a boy past the first blush of youth, with a pretty young girl literally in his hand, and he felt nothing. Cold even, where the drafts of the room swept across his exposed skin. Where was that heat and sweat and grunting animal instinct that he was supposed to feel?
“Ari? Is something wrong?” She questioned. Ari shrugged again, and made a move towards her. In doing so, his open pants slipped down his legs, and his bedroom door slammed open.
“Ari! I heard this rumor that an ancient city was unearth—“ Stan’s voice petered out into painful nothingness. Ari turned quickly to face him. He opened his mouth, but no words came out. What words could be said? He slowly removed his hand from Marlene’s chest.
“Oh.” Stan breathed. “Well then. I didn’t know you had company.”
He left. And Ari had never felt worse.
He quickly pulled up his pants and buttoned them. Marlene frowned, crossing her arms over her chest. “What are you doing?” She demanded.
“I can’t.” He said. He started doing up his shirt.
“What do you mean ‘you can’t’?” She was scowling now.
Ari shook his head. He left his shirt partly undone. The only thing on his mind now was leaving the room—leaving the girl with the flashing red eyes. “I just can’t.”
He left Marlene and her cries of “we can try again,” and “stupid Stan; ruining everything.” He stomped down the hallway and down the stairs. He wanted to see Stan, whether to see if he was okay, or set things right, or something else he wasn’t certain. But seeing his face in the door of his bedroom made Ari actually feel something. It was that sudden emotion—whatever it was—that highlighted the fact that Ari hadn’t been feeling anything in a very long time. Ever since they defeated Beiloune and Stan had been restored to power and split from his shadow forever, Ari had a hole in himself that nothing seemed to fill, until now. His chest clenched. He felt heavy.
He hated the idea of being caught with Marlene.
He should have never let her drag him to his bedroom. He didn’t like her company even on the best of days—why did he even consider letting her touch him? And now, Stan saw it—and was hurt by what he saw. Ari was driven by the need to set things right.
He found Stan outside, blending into the shadows cast by the trees that surrounded the house. His face was downcast; he scuffed his pointed boot against the ground. His arms were tightly crossed around his chest—hugging himself. Ari approached him slowly. He waited until he was in arm’s reach of the man before attempting to speak.
Stan whipped his head around quickly, and pinned Ari with his fierce gaze. He sneered, “Done already?”
Ari refused to shift his eyes away. He held Stan’s gaze in his own, no matter how uncomfortable it was. He swallowed sharply. “Yeah.”
Stan obviously wasn’t expecting that answer. He blinked, scowl slipping from his face like rainwater. He parted his lips, paused, and licked them. Awkwardly, he muttered, “Okay…”
“I don’t know why I did it.” Ari blurted out. Stan continued to blink at him, and the boy thought it was a good sign to just confess. “She… she offered, and I didn’t even think it a very good idea, but I did it anyway. I don’t really know why—I didn’t really think it over I guess.”
Stan twitched. “You’re a teenaged boy. You have urges.”
Ari sighed, exasperated. “That’s the thing,” He allowed his head to fall from Stan’s gaze. “I don’t! Didn’t,” he amended. “It was just sorta… gross.”
Breathing heavily, he waited for Stan’s reply. He kept his face towards the ground. He was too afraid to look up and see the expression on the other man’s face.
Then he heard laughing. He looked up to see Stan’s head thrown back and laughter breaking free from his lips. Ari gaped in shock.
“Gross!” Stan roared with delight. “I imagine so, with a grease-ball like that!” He muttered ‘gross’ a few more times under his breath and in between twitters. Now his arms were holding his sides as he doubled over in his glee.
Ari smiled. That tight sensation in his chest was easing. Somehow, the whole situation seemed funnier to him, too. “Yeah, it was gross.”
Stan smirked at him. “Of all the people available to you, why did you choose her—“ his grin faltered. “Well… come to think of it,” he mused, “your options are pretty limited, aren’t they?”
Shrugging, Ari felt uncomfortable again. He couldn’t meet Stan’s gaze, not now, not for what he was about to admit.
“For me, yes.”
Stan was silent. Ari didn’t feel the need to break the silence. Pieces fell into place inside his head, and answers bloomed up to questions he never knew he asked.
The man before him cleared his throat. “What do you mean by that, boy?” It wasn’t a question, and after all the time spent as the man posing haughtily before him’s slave, Ari couldn’t help but to obey the command. Slowly, the words slipped from his lips.
“I’ve felt… empty, ever since we… we defeated Beiloune, and you left.”
“I didn’t leave, I’m right here.” Stan interrupted softly. Softer than Ari expected.
He shook his head. Now it was he who was hugging himself. “No, ever since you left me—my shadow. I… I feel empty without you… without you inside of me.”
The silence was thick and deafening. He waited until he could bear it no longer, and looked up at Stan’s face. The chiseled features blushed fiercely, splotches of red lighting up the tanned skin. Ari quickly realized how his statement sounded, but he didn’t retract it. It was the truth, every bit of it—including the sexual pun.
Stan coughed uncomfortably. “Well, that’s a completely different matter then.” He turned his face away.
Ari couldn’t take it. “I’m sorry!” He blurted. He hung his head in shame. He felt his face growing hot as well and a lump swell in his throat.
Stan’s husky voice sounded close to his ear, and a warm, heavy hand landed on his shoulder. “Do you remember what I told you when we first met?” He whispered. Ari shivered.
“That I’m… I’m your slave?” He still didn’t look up at him.
He could feel Stan nod beside him. “Forever. Servant, subordinate and slave: you belong to me completely and eternally. Heart, soul and body, Ari.”
His breath sent the most wonderous tingling sensation down Ari’s spine, and the words sunk in slowly. His breath shuddered and he fell against Stan, eyes closed. He felt the man slip an arm around his waist and a hand against his cheek. He head tilted up, and he cracked his eyes open to see Stan’s awed gaze meet his own. His eyes closed again as their lips crashed together, and this time heat raced through him, boiled him from inside out and yes, he could admit, pooled in his groin. He wrapped his arms around Stan’s neck and clung to him as their lips melded and danced together. It was wet and hot and sloppy. Stan’s tongue slipped into his mouth to flirt with his own, and Ari was glad to meet it. Stan didn’t just taste like saliva; he tasted like fire and darkness.
His back scraped the bark of a tree before he even notice Stan had pushed him against it. They had more leverage now, and Ari found himself grinding his hips into Stan’s and gods—there was a hardness there to match his own. Stan’s hands slipped underneath his shirt and his fingertips sent electric sparks across Ari’s skin. He gripped the man’s head to pull him down, farther into his mouth, to fall into him, when a gasp filtered into his consciousness.
It took a moment to unravel from the other man. He finally found enough of himself to look at the girl standing ten feet away. Marlene’s chest heaved, her face flushed and eyes filled with tears. “I,” she started, “I thought you and me were…”
Ari’s mind went completely blank. Marlene’s heart-broken visage paralyzed him.
Stan, though, seemed immune from her affect. “Girl,” he growled. “Can’t you see we’re busy?”
Marlene summoned up the strength to fill herself with rage. “Foul-mouthed demon, get away from my Ari!” She spat, shoulders shaking.
Stan made a move to separate himself from the boy, but Ari clung on tight. He didn’t want to be away from his master, not after finding him again so soon. Stan allowed it, and clutched Ari to his chest even as he yelled at Marlene. “Idiot. Have you ever bothered to ask Ari what he thinks?”
Marlene faltered. “I, well…”
“Tell her,” Stan whispered into Ari’s hair. Ari looked up the best he could into his Master’s face. Suddenly shy, he peeked at her from inside the safety of Stan’s arms.
He took a deep breath, and dove headfirst into turbulent waters. “I was never your servant,” he said.
“What?” She growled. Even Stan’s arms tightened in reflex.
“I was never your servant,” Ari repeated, louder. “I only went along with you to not cause trouble. But I was never yours.”
Tears began to slip from Marlene’s eyes. “Why? Didn’t you like me?”
Feeling stronger now, Ari continued, “It had nothing to do with you. I’m Stan’s. Completely. Always.”
Stan’s arms clutched at him. From his position—smooshed against the other man’s chest—Ari could feel Stan’s heart beat just a bit faster. He smiled inwardly.
“But…” Marlene denied.
“No.” Ari finished.
“See, girl?” Stan’s voice rose up, cockily and without shame. “You were in denial the entire time. If you bothered to listen, you would have spared yourself the heartache.”
“I, I—“ Marlene blubbered. Before the tears could ruin her makeup, she ran off in the direction of the house. Ari felt bad for the retreating figure, but Stan’s warmth distracted him from the pain of delivering bad news. Surprisingly, Stan nuzzled Ari’s hair.
“It’s for the best, really,” he said. “That girl’s got a real bad habit of denial.”
Ari snorted. “True.”
Stan began walking Ari backwards. “Now, Slave, shall we finish what we started?”
Ari giggled. “Lead the way, Master.”
Stan’s head dipped to meet Ari’s lips again.