Disclaimer: I don't own anything from the movie Maximum Ride and I'm not making any money from this fic
Summary: Part of the Lonely Prompts challenge. Written for this prompt: Any fandom, any/any "Why do you keep doing this?" "For the cuddles."
Being made an Eraser hasn't changed Ari's need for someone to care about him
Pairing: Fang/Ari – slash
Warning(s): Spanking; spoilers for the movie Maximum Ride; AU; violence
Author's Note: This fic is based on the movie Maximum Ride rather than the book series, so Fang and Ari are about seventeen
His father never asked him where he went every day. Ari had no idea if Jeb had already guessed, or if he just didn't care. He suspected it was the latter. His father had always been more concerned with the Flock than with his own son. He didn't even know what kept driving him to leave the School...what kept pushing him towards this place.
Ari knew he wasn't trusted by any of the Flock. As he made his way to the predetermined location, he wondered if today would be when Fang finally stopped showing up. If the other boy had finally decided that Ari was too much work. Not worth the time or effort. Not worth caring about.
Their meeting place was a small clearing in a tiny forest at the foot of a very steep mountain. It wasn't the easiest of places to get to, but that only meant Ari was less likely to be followed.
By the time Ari had reached the clearing, the sun was setting, bathing the whole area in a beautiful orange glow. But, more importantly, there was no sign of Fang.
Ari took a seat on the fallen tree log, staring into the calm, placcid surface of the pool. Calm and placcid. Those were two words that could never be used to describe him. Even before choosing to become an Eraser, he'd had too much turmoil roiling within him to ever truly find peace.
Licking his fangs, Ari thought about giving up and returning to the School. What did he really get from these little clandestine meetings? Actually, scrap that. What did Fang get from them? The two of them were rivals, at best. Bitter enemies, at the worst. But there was something almost addictive about their interactions.
Jeb wanted Ari to see a psychiatrist. His father had never pushed the issue, but Ari could always eel Jeb's eyes on him. Watching him. Judging him. He wanted to point out that it was too late for the man to be a father. That Ari had needed him when he was a child and Jeb had taken Mac and the others away from the School.
Ari didn't need him now.
The clearing grew darker and Ari shivered. Shaking his head at his own foolishness, he stood up.
There was the sound of rustling wings and Fang alighted on the grass directly in front of him.
Ari growled, low and threatening, deep in his throat. The next moment, he hurled himself at Fang.
The other boy sidestepped and struck Ari's back, low down, with the side of his hand.
Ari stumbled, but quickly regained his balance and turned on Fang with another savage growl. A tiny corner of his mind, free of the hate the genetic tampering had caused to increase, looked on in horror at what he was doing...what he was becoming, if he wasn't already there. Wasn't already the monster.
When Ari went for him again, Fang's wings unfolded and he glided to one side before coming behind Ari and sweeping his legs out from under him, sending Ari crashing to the ground.
Winded, Ari rolled onto his back to push himself to his feet, but Fang dropped into a crouch next to him and pushed down on his chest. "Why do you keep doing this?"
Ignoring the question, Ari kicked up. Fang sprang back before his foot could connect, but he let go of Ari, who rolled to his feet and threw himself at Fang once more, letting loose with a fierce flurry of punches and kicks that had Fang on the defensive.
Ari's fist came into contact with Fang's chest, but he pulled back on the force. If he punched using all his strength, he'd break bones. But he didn't want that.
Fang winced and a stab of guilt pierced through Ari. He faltered and quickly found himself on the defensive, driven back until his spine hit a trunk. A yelp escaped his lips as Fang pinned him there with an arm across his throat, eyes searching his. "Why do you keep doing this?"
Ari twisted and kicked out, driving Fang back. He aimed too high with a kick and the other boy caught his foot, sending him into a flip. Before he landed, Fang's wings swept out and he soared to meet Ari, catching him before his feet hit the ground.
"No!" Ari struggled and clawed as he found himself lifted into the air. Half-afraid Fang would drop him, he surrendered to the inevitable and wrapped his arms around the other boy, clinging on for dear life.
Fang's hands on him were warm. He wasn't pulling away from Ari; recoiling like he was disgusted. His hands were firm and steady as he landed on the grass in front of the the fallen tree log. Sitting down, he draped Ari across his knees.
This position meant Ari had a clear view of his reflection, across Fang's lap. His fangs glistened and his eyes gleamed black. A wave of intense self-loathing swept through him, but he forced himself to keep his eyes open as Fang's reflection lifted its hand and brought it down.
No sound came from the reflective surface, but there was a dull thwap as Fang's hand landed on his backside. It didn't really hurt...and neither did the smacks that followed. By the time Fang's palm swatted his thighs, his bottom was growing warm and he was beginning to shift.
Another circuit of swats turned the warmth into a sting and Ari hissed out a breath. But instead of reacting violently, he relaxed over Fang's knees. He stared into his own reflection's eyes and watched as Fang slipped his fingers into the waistband of his pants, tugging them down along with his underwear to bare his backside.
Ari closed his eyes as cool air ghosted over his backside, soothing the faint warmth lingering. Fang's hand gently rested on his bottom, rubbing for a moment or two, before his palm lifted and he slapped it down on Ari's right cheek.
The swat stung a bit more sharply on Ari's bare flesh. It wasn't anything like the worst pain he'd experienced, but it made him feel so much more vulnerable. He opened his eyes in time to watch Fang raise his hand and slap it down again. His body was angled in such a way that he could even glimpse part of his buttocks as they began to take on a pink colour.
When Fang began to swat his sit spots and thighs, Ari couldn't help but kick his legs, letting out tiny hisses and huffs of air. His eyes began to water, but he was reasonably sure he'd be able to stop himself showing complete weakness in front of the other boy.
"You don't have to stay at the School."
Fang's soft voice made Ari wince. The words deserved a response, but if he talked, he'd lose control and start crying like a baby. He didn't know how Fang had figured out what he needed, but he'd been comfortable with how this arrangement had come about. How could the other boy suggest Ari could leave the School? Where would he even go?
Ari couldn't find his voice, but he reached down and gripped Fang's ankle. A whimpering whine escaped his lips as Fang's hand began to swat a bit harder and faster. He squirmed and kicked his legs out, then threw his other hand behind to cover his bottom.
"No, Ari." Fang moved his hand out of the way, holding it against his back, and delivered some firmer swats to the creases between his bottom and thighs.
The heat was growing to unbearable levels, but even if he wasn't physically fighting, Ari couldn't force himself to just relax and accept the spanking. His body was tense and even though his bottom was growing warm and stinging...and he could see it was taking on a more rosy glow...he was still resisting.
"I want you to come home with me."
The words were so unexpected that Ari lost some of the iron control over his resistance. "W-what?"
"I want you to come home with me," Fang repeated.
"How could you ever trust me?"
Fang began to rub Ari's bottom. "You chose to become an Eraser. It's not like you can change that part of yourself, anymore than I can change having wings. Or bird DNA. But that doesn't mean I want you to go back to the School. That I don't want you."
It was those words that broke Ari. Jeb, his own father, didn't want him. None of the other Erasers wanted him either. He didn't fit in anywhere...but Fang wanted him. And this wasn't the first time the other boy had said those words, but it was the first time Ari found himself believing it. He closed his eyes and tears began to trickle down his cheeks as he slumped over Fang's lap, a quiet sob escaping him.
Fang rubbed Ari's back for a moment or two longer and then helped him to stand after pulling his clothing back into place. He then drew Ari down onto his lap, wrapping his arms around him and holding him close.
Sniffling quietly, Ari let his head rest on Fang's shoulder. A bit hesitantly, he tilted his chin up and lightly touched his lips to the other boy's.
Fang responded immediately, kissing him back and deepening the kiss, head tilted to one side. "Does this mean I can take you home?" he whispered.
"Like I'm a pet..."
"Like you're mine," Fang corrected. "And I'm yours."
"The others will never accept me," Ari mumbled.
Fang traced the scar on his cheek. "You'll have a long way to go to earn trust," he said. "But the hard part is out of the way. Max knows I was coming to meet you. Well..." He paused. "She guessed. And I confirmed the guess. She's willing to give you a chance, because I told her I would vouch for you."
"I keep fighting you. Physically. Until you take me over your knee and spank me into submission. What makes you so sure you can trust me?"
"Why do you keep doing this? Why do you keep fighting me?"
Blushing, Ari hid his face against Fang's shoulder. "For the cuddles," he mumbled.
"You don't need to fight me and get spanked to get cuddles." Fang kissed him again, stroking the side of his face. "It's late now. Max will be getting worried. They'll all be worried. Are you ready to go home?"
Ari slowly, hesitantly nodded. "Yeah...I want..." He took a deep breath and spoke with more certainty. "I want to go home with you."