[fanfic] Paired Up
Title: Paired Up
Chapter: One Shot
*Rating: T to M for strong sexual content and offensive language*
Disclaimer: I do not own Matt and Trey's precious babies.
Author's Notes: Dedicated to kyuubikun for the request.
Summary: Craig and Stan are paired up for a school project and it doesn't look too good…
Stan wasn't listening to what Kyle was talking about. He didn't even cut in his and Cartman's bickering. He didn't make a comment at Kenny's recent sex conquest. Because they were walking down the hall and Craig and his friends were approaching from the other side. Stan cursed silently when Craig's eyes found his own. Indigo blue lingered on blue-grey for a moment that felt like hours. Understanding made Stan's temperature rise and Craig's thin lips quiver as if resisting a smirk.
"Let's go this way," Stan said swiftly, turning to go down a different hallway.
"Wha- Stan? This way's faster!" Kyle claimed, raising a questioning eyebrow as he gestured down the hallway in which Craig approached.
"I just feel like going this way," Stan argued hastily, already half way down the other hallway, not looking back.
As his friends hesitantly yet obediently followed after Stan with a few jabs and probing questions, Craig paused to watch Stan go to class, eyes following him like a predator his prey.
"…Craig, are you even listening?" Clyde grumbled with a bit of a pout, shoving his friend.
"No, I stopped listening ages ago," Token chuckled, making Clyde complain about how he had a good story.
But Craig only finally returned from his slight "zone-out" mental excursion when Tweek tugged at the sleeve of his shirt, muttering something about being late for class. Craig dragged his eyes away to look at Tweek before nodding in agreement and finally walking on, not looking back.
Stan Marsh was not in the mood for dealing with Craig Tucker.
Any other day, he would have let the fact roll off his back and simply gotten it over with without too much of a fuss. It wasn't that Craig was a bad person or anything. But it would be a lie to say that he didn't rub Stan the wrong way.
So it being the first day after Stan had been dumped by Wendy for what felt like the hundredth time that year—after convincing himself that it was going so well—Stan could not just let the fact "roll off his back" this time.
In fact, the moment the teacher said their two names together, signifying that they were paired up for the English project, Stan did nothing to hide his frustration.
"Is there a problem, Stanley?" the teacher asked at the other's blatant disinterest in working with Craig.
"I don't want to work with Craig," Stan grumbled, looking over at the other boy who stared back with an apathetic look. "He friggin' sucks."
"Watch your mouth," the teacher sighed halfheartedly, knowing it was impossible to ask teenage boys to do such a thing. "And I'm sure Craig will be a fine partner."
"Are you kidding me?" Stan scoffed, more to himself as he sank in his chair.
"You weren't exactly my first choice either, Marsh," Craig commented, making Stan give him a distasteful look. "But life's rough, get a helmet."
'Shut up, Craig," Stan rolled his eyes at Craig, looking away.
"Nice one. Real original," Craig replied without looking at the other.
"That's enough, you two," the teacher scolded, making both boys go silent.
Stan resisted the urge to yell across the room about how Craig couldn't talk about originality in the insult department.
"Life's rough, get a helmet?" Please.
Stan was not looking forward to working with Craig. Not one bit.
Stan had thought that he had been doing both Craig and himself a favor by suggesting that they both split up their work and did it separately. They could keep contact through e-mail if needed. But Craig had insisted upon meeting up and working together. Stan didn't like the sound of it, not only because he couldn't tolerate someone like Craig at the moment, but also because then, Craig could slack off or waste time and essentially make Stan do all the work.
At least with Kyle, it was a fair deal. Sure, Kyle was intelligent and could easily do it all by himself, but he had enough faith in Stan to work fairly with him. They were comfortable and compatible. Stan did not see Craig as a good alternative in comparison. He wondered how Kyle felt about working with Tweek. He suspected Kyle would end up having to do all the work. It wasn't that Tweek was unintelligent. He was just far too jittery. And it wasn't that Craig was stupid, either. He just didn't seem to care enough to work. Stan was concerned that Craig wouldn't even try to get a good grade for another person's benefit.
The doorbell rang. Stan sighed to himself as he got up from the couch to answer it. Well. He had no choice. All he could do was tolerate it as well as he could manage.
He opened the door for Craig who looked at him in a cloud of smoke, crushing away the butt on his front step.
"Aw, dude! Weak," Stan coughed, waving his hand through the smoke as Craig stepped past him to go inside. "Don't smoke near my house, asshole!"
"Sorry," Craig said flatly, tossing his notebook onto the coffee table next to Stan's as he flopped down on the couch with a sigh.
Stan scoffed at the apology as he closed the door. He had never heard something so insincere in his life.
"Have you decided which author you wanted to do?" Craig asked, opening his notebook.
"I was thinking Hemingway," Stan murmured, moving to sit beside the other. "Then you can study Oscar Wilde and we can do the comparison after we exchange notes."
"Wouldn't it be easier if we studied both of them?" Craig suggested, reading the assignment over in his notebook. "Then we would both find different comparisons and then decide who can present who afterwards. So you can present Hemingway, and I can do Wilde, but we would both know enough about both authors."
"No, that takes too much effort," Stan countered, shaking his head at the other. He already didn't like this. At least with Kyle, he always cooperated.
"No, it doesn't," Craig argued without a hint of frustration. "You're just too lazy and try to find shortcuts all the time."
"That's bullshit," Stan said angrily, glaring at Craig who still wouldn't meet his eyes.
"Is it?" Craig asked, turning the page of his notebook and sniffling slightly. "So you're not lazy and don't try to find shortcuts to finishing a project you really don't want to do by just simplifying the work?"
"Well, I only want to finish this stupid project because I don't want to hang out with you all the time!" Stan snapped back without thinking. He felt a bit bad for saying it but he watched Craig slowly look up at him with a flat expression.
"Like I'm having a fucking blast right now with you?" Craig questioned with a quirked eyebrow, dark eyes disconcerting Stan slightly. "I'm just trying to do this project right despite the fact that I don't like you. So grow up."
"Craig, what the fuck, you've never given a shit about school, you skip class all the time!" Stan claimed, getting angrier simply because Craig remained so calm. And Stan almost never got riled up.
"You know me so well, huh, Stan?" Craig mocked, eyes cold. "You know just everything about me and how I do in school and what I care about. It's really impressive, actually."
"Don't be a smartass," Stan snarled, grabbing his notebook and flipping it open almost violently, looking away from Craig. "Let's just do this damn project and then we can leave each other alone for good."
"Sounds great," Craig conceded, though he showed no enthusiasm as he looked back down at his own notebook. "I was getting sick of you taking out your relationship problems on me."
After a single blink, Craig found his own notebook as well as Stan's on the ground.
"What the hell did you just say?" Stan seethed, now standing and towering over Craig who, slightly disoriented by Stan's bout of anger, looked up at the other.
"I said, 'sounds great, I was getting sick of you taking out your relationship problems on me,'" Craig repeated almost obediently, appearing indifferent towards Stan's expression of anger through shoving their notebooks on the ground.
"What the hell do you know about relationships, Craig?" Stan spat, leaning in slightly. "What the fuck would you know?"
"Well, not much," Craig said without shame, shrugging. "But I know the one you have with Wendy is unhealthy. You guys are on and off constantly, lacking stability. It's sad to watch."
"Fuck you, Craig!" Stan found himself growing angrier and angrier as he watched Craig look up at him with a collected expression.
"Look how pissed you are. You call that healthy?" Craig said, eyebrows furrowing slightly as if curious. "I've never seen you this pissed off before. But I guess it might be good for you since you're usually so predictable."
"Shut the hell up, Craig! Like you know anything about me!"
Stan didn't know why he was bothering. Craig was like a brick wall that happened to have a smart mouth every once and a while. It was absolutely impossible talking to him. But Stan wasn't sure why he was bothering him much more than usual. A small part of Stan might have admitted to the fact that perhaps the reason why he was getting so worked up was because everything Craig was saying was true.
"I know enough," Craig mused, bending over to go get the notebooks. "I know more about you than you know about me, that's for sure."
"Oh yeah, right," Stan scoffed, crossing his arms over his chest as he glared down at the seated Craig. "Because I'm so 'predictable,' right?"
"Like hell, you are," Craig snorted, raising an eyebrow up at Stan. "For a dude who's gone through so much shit, you sure are boring."
"Like you can talk, dickhead," Stan retorted, still refusing to sit beside Craig. "You even said you liked boring once."
"I know," Craig stated, looking up at Stan unblinkingly.
Stan's heart was in his throat at Craig's words, their implication, and his unnerving stare. He found himself feeling anxious and unable to reply. It confused him.
"Let's just finish this stupid project," Stan concluded with a sigh, sitting beside Craig once more and opening up his notebook again. As usual, Stan was ready to make peace. Stan started to wonder if that really made him predictable. "So you get Wilde, right?"
"We've decided that," Craig murmured, looking down at his own notebook as well. "We'll study them both and then present each author separately."
"What? We didn't decide that!" Stan shouted, anger returning.
"Too bad, I just did," Craig said evenly, side-glancing at Stan as if daring him to argue.
"Why do you have to be such a dick, Craig?" Stan sighed tiredly, resting his chin on his palm, defeated.
"Just trying to get a reaction out of you, Stan," Craig answered honestly.
"I'm not predictable, okay!" Stan frowned.
"Sure you're not," Craig murmured. "If you're not, you can prove it."
Stan glared at Craig for a fleeting moment, mind scrambling for a single action that could be defined as unexpected. His mind thoughtlessly locked on one thing and without hesitation, Stan grabbed Craig's face and kissed him.
Stan only realized what he was doing when he felt Craig's still, unresponsive lips pressed forcefully against his own impulsive, coaxing ones. His own eyes widened in surprise as he tore himself way, hands jolting away from Craig as if shocked. Stan had ended up being more unexpected than he had anticipated. Now, he waited for Craig's reaction, blue eyes, in contrast to his flushed red cheeks, searching and trying to pinpoint a single coherent emotion in Craig's expression.
"Really?" Craig asked suddenly, making Stan blink in confusion. "That's all you got?"
"What?" Stan exclaimed, tone going up considerably in a mix of confusion and frustration.
"You call that 'unexpected?'" Craig questioned once more, shaking his head slightly as he turned his head away. "Pathetic."
"Wh-But-" Stan stammered before shouting, anger brimming over completely. "Id like to see you do better!"
"Okay," Craig nodded, turning back to Stan and reaching his hand out to cup Stan's chin.
The smoldering look that Craig gave him was something that didn't just make him shiver, but made him feel like his spine was being peeled away slowly, leaving his body useless. His very touch both surprised him and sent a strange thrill through him because of how gentle it felt.
Stan's usual reason screamed at him, begging for him to snap out of it and see what he was doing. What was he doing, really? Letting Craig, of all people, a boy, touch him the way he was. And being okay with it. And—enjoying it? Why? Questions toiled in his mind but he found himself floating above it all as he felt Craig's other hand take Stan's face, palms warm.
Stan's breath hitched when Craig's face grew nearer until he could feel the heat of his breath against his flush lips, slightly open from surprise and perhaps in a primal expression of begging. Stan didn't dare move in to close the space, though the tension was killing him, he had to admit. If he was going to do it, then fine. He'll do it. But he wanted Craig to stop holding back. Stan's fists were clenched in his lap and he almost felt sick as Craig met his eyes again at their close proximity.
Stan shut his eyes and sincerely hoped he didn't throw up on Craig's face. He tilted his chin slightly, bracing himself.
But before he could truly commit himself, Craig was pulling away. Stan's eyes flickered open, almost frantic as Craig drew his hands back. Stan wasn't stupid. Craig wasn't going to follow through, he could see that. Craig was starting to flip through his notebook.
"Okay, so you got Hemingway," Craig started, sighing as if nothing out of the ordinary had just happened previously.
"That's it?" Stan scoffed in disbelief at the other, subconsciously rubbing at his cheeks as if puzzled as to why they felt so hot. "You're just—you're just going to pretend nothing happened?"
"Yeah," Craig conceded, eyes on his notebook. "So, I'm going to look up stuff about Wilde at the library-"
"Craig, can you just shut the fuck up about the project for a second and tell me what the hell just happened?" Stan demanded, looking like he was suffering from a large amount of stress.
Craig blinked and looked up at Stan.
"Are you confused?" he asked.
"Yeah!" Stan spluttered as if not believing that Craig could be so oblivious.
"Was what I did disorienting?" Craig continued.
"Jesus Christ, Craig! Just explain yourself!"
Stan was surprised to see Craig smirk.
"Was what I did 'unexpected?'"
Stan took a pause before dissolving into a hateful glare.
"Get out of here," Stan said.
"No, we have a project to finish," Craig replied.
"I said, 'get the fuck out of my house!'" Stan yelled at the other.
"And I said, 'no,'" Craig said flatly.
Stan tackled Craig to the ground, grabbing the front of his shirt for leverage as he prepared himself to hit him. Stan could do it, too. After so many years of football and "fighting" with his three friends, he was pretty good at fighting. And he knew Craig was crap at it. But Craig didn't appear to be even trying to fight back.
"Fight back, you wuss!" Stan snarled, making a fist with one of his hands as he glared down at the other.
"Why?" Craig blinked.
Stan didn't really have an answer for that. So instead, he growled in frustration and shook Craig a bit as if that will encourage him to fight back.
"Why can't you just fight like a normal dude, you stupid motherfucker!" Stan shouted at the boy under him.
"I don't want to fight you," Craig replied, staring up with unnerving eyes.
Stan felt a lump in his throat but he did not let this discourage him from telling the other dark-haired boy off.
"Why, 'cos you know I'd beat the shit outta you?" Stan sneered.
"No," Craig replied, licking his lower lip absently as he laid there. "Because I have nothing to fight you for."
Before Stan could say another word, Craig had sat up and grabbed his face, catching him off guard. Stan moved to instinctively wriggle his face away before freezing at the feeling of Craig's tongue against his lower lip and teeth sinking into the slick flesh.
Stan released a gasp and a suppressed whimper without thinking, eyebrows knitting together in confusion and need as he felt his body flush and melt against the slight touch. He tilted his head as Craig's lips swallowed his own in warmth and hunger. Stan tightened his hold on Craig's shirt, grabbing him roughly, pressing against him harshly, suddenly finding it imperative to be as close as possible to the other brunette. All thought and logic that made Stan who he was seemed to remove itself from his mind as he kissed Craig back fiercely,
Craig hummed in approval against Stan's lips, holding his face close as his other arm wrapped around Stan's waist, accepting his body's advances.
Almost instinctively, Stan found himself tearing at Craig's clothes, fingers craving to feel naked flesh. But he felt Craig's firm hold stop him. Stan finally blinked out of his desire high, coming down to reality, embarrassment settling down in the pit of his stomach like withdrawal.
"Uh-" Stan began to say awkwardly with Craig's hands around his wrists, holding him back slightly.
Craig watched Stan's face turn a deep shade of red, tilting his head in almost interest as the other struggled to find a way to get out of the situation.
Stan, not knowing how to do anything up at that point—either getting out of the situation or perhaps falling into the situation—simply stared at Craig, waiting for something to respond to.
"Get off me, Stan," Craig said coolly.
Stan obliged quickly, an expression of hurt crossing his face before he cleared his throat and rubbed the back of his neck, mortified.
"We have work to do," Craig reiterated, closing his notebook and getting up. "I'm starting to think you're right. We should just work separately."
"Well, wait! But-" Stan found himself stammering, only sinking further into his humiliation of his feeling of inadequacy in relation to Craig.
"But what, Stan?" Craig asked, all packed up and standing by the door as he watched the other.
"Why?" was all that came out of Stan's mouth as he stared up at Craig, not understanding any of the events that had just taken place. Or how he felt about them. Or how he was going to deal with them. He just wanted to have one answer as foundation. Just one.
As Craig blinked slowly and licked his lips to answer, Stan begged God not to let Craig ask Stan to elaborate. But instead, Craig answered, understanding fully what Stan wanted.
"One thing at a time, Stan," Craig said, as if explaining something to a child. "One thing at a time."
Stan only realized Craig had left when the sound of his broken down car rumbled down the street.
Despite the unfulfilling answer, it was an answer all the same. The answer could have meant a myriad of things but somehow Stan understood a single thing.
Whatever happened between their argument and Craig leaving—the physical "thing" that had felt so right and good—was bound to happen again.
The excitement tightened around Stan's stomach.
Stan felt like he was going to be sick. But in the best way. Because Craig was bound to do that; frustrate, confuse, infuriate, deter, and entice him to sickness.
As he stared down at his assignment, Stan really wished Craig hadn't been assigned as his partner. He knew he wasn't going to get any work done. Ever.
~*Love? Hate? Undecided? Let me know. Thanks for reading!*~