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Glass and Steel: Pt. 2
Posted By: Random 14-Year-Old<i-rule-2008@sbcglobal.net>
Date: 7 August 2005, 4:40 am

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Part 2: A Reevaluation

"It doesn't sound like she likes you."

"You think? I had the impression that she was madly in love with me."

Ren curved a smile when he saw his father's annoyance at the sarcasm. It wasn't often that he opted to confide in his parents, but he was really left with no choice when he came home with a black eye and a bruise to the head; the former caused by an angry stranger and the latter by Ren himself.

"Girls are tricky, Ren," his father continued, ignoring the sarcasm. "But I think that in this case, she wasn't tricky at all. You should have just left her alone."

"Are you kidding?" Ren laughed. "And admit defeat like that? Give me a break, Dad. Did you just give in when Mom rejected you for the first time?"

"Mom didn't reject me. In those days we had enough brain cells to tell when girls were interested in us or not."

"You're no help," Ren grunted, and went to find his jacket. It was a new day, with new opportunities and new ways of tackling them. He was going straight to that playing field, and he would sit next to Ariana and ask her out, right then and there. Ren would have to rethink his entire approach, which meant no more beating around the bush and definitely no more meaningless pickup lines. Ariana seemed impervious to them, anyway.

"Try and get home early," Ren's dad warned when he saw his son leaving the house. "It looks like a storm, but the neighbors say that they're really common on Luther because—"

Ren shut the front door and strode off the porch with a hint of nervousness in his step. Where he had been confident and cocky the day before, Ren now felt rather hopeless and defeated.

However, Ren forced himself to get over it when he saw the field he had come to associate with Ariana, but instead of seeing a bunch of bratty kids playing a sport, Ren was looking at a bunch of bratty kids beating each other up. And at the center of the mob was none other than Ariana.

"No, it wasn't there!" one kid screamed. "No! Shut up, shut up, shut up!" The child proceeded to beat another kid on the head with a ball.

"Ariana?" Ren called into the mob. She was struggling to pull the children off from one another, but her attempts were failing as the kids started hitting her as well. Ren hurried and started prying apart some of the worse fights; one boy had someone in a headlock with one arm and used the other arm to pinch the victim repeatedly.

"Ren!" Ariana cried. "Oh, thanks so much, these kids are driving me crazy!" Suddenly, most of the children stopped their assaults on each other, and turned their heads up at Ariana.

"Are you ok—" Ren started, but he was drowned out by the screams of several young boys as they leapt in the air and tackled Ariana to the ground. Ren watched in shock as all of the boys diverted their attention to Ariana, diving into the pile and searching for a body part to hit that wasn't already taken.

"Ren…!" Ariana mumbled from beneath the rampaging kids, and Ren leapt into action, surprised that he had waited for so long to rescue her. He grabbed a boy and pushed him out of the way, then another, and another, sometimes actually throwing some of them several feet away.

"Get off of her!" Ren demanded at the last few boys who had Ariana pinned to the ground, but when they didn't budge he grabbed them and tossed them out of the way.

"Thanks," Ariana said as she looked up at him from the ground and smiled. She was wearing dark blue jeans and a white sweater, which normally would have conflicted with her silky brown hair had she not been so attractive. For a split second Ren wondered if she could look bad in anything.

"Are you okay?" Ren repeated, but Ariana didn't answer. Instead she easily stood up on her feet, approached Ren and kissed him. The shock and the pleasure combined drove all thought from Ren's mind, and then suddenly, it was over.

"Hahaha!" one boy cackled. Ren looked at him and remembered the boy as being Ariana's brother. "You got punked!"

Ren turned back to Ariana, puzzled. More boys around them began to chuckle and murmur. "What happened?" he asked, trying to sound casual.

"Good job, Ren," Ariana said, not answering the question, still smiling. "Let's take a walk. Wanna come over to my house?"

"What was your brother talking about?" Ren was genuinely dumbfounded, with no clue as to what just happened, and why Ariana wouldn't explain it him.

"You have a black eye," she said out of the blue. "Did one of the kids hit you? I thought they understood me when I told them not to hurt you!"


"Okay, Ren, here's the deal," she suddenly started speaking with clear purpose. "I wanted to see how shallow you were, so I told the kids to fight each other until you came. Then I had them attack me so I could see what you'd do."

"You tested me?" Ren blurted out. They were walking along the sidewalk towards Ariana's house, and hopefully her real one. "You tested me?"

"Yep. And you passed with flying colors, too."

"Wait. Wait a second. So you tested me?" Ren paused, but decided to keep going. "I know a lot of things that girls can do to guys, and 'testing' isn't one of them."

"Why not?" Ariana argued back, her voice heating up. "For all the disrespect we take from guys, we should be allowed to—"

"Calm down," Ren said coolly. "Look, I'm sorry I was 'shallow' or whatever yesterday, okay?"

"We're here." Ariana pointed to her house, which was a white two-story with yellow trim. The front yard was small, but Ariana's family seemed to have made the most out of it, as they had a tree and a small garden sitting peacefully in front of the home.

"Come on," Ariana said, and pulled Ren to the front door, which apparently was unlocked because she merely pushed it open and tugged Ren inside.

"Um," Ren said mindlessly, "Are your parents home?"

"No, just my mom. She's probably in the living room watching TV—wait!" Ariana held out her arm and Ren froze. She put her finger to her lips, and pointed to the stairwell. Ren, obeying, quietly tip-toed to the foot of the stairs, but he glanced to his left and saw a woman sitting on the couch with her back to them.

"Ariana!" the woman called without taking her eyes from the TV. "Look at this! They're—Oh, my god!" The woman burst with laughter when one of the characters started yelling, "Wort wort wort! Wort wort wort! Wort wort wort!"

"I'll be in my room, Mom," Ariana called back, but she froze when her mom began to shout.

"Come look, girl!" the woman yelled. Ariana rolled her eyes and gestured for Ren to continue up the stairs. He slowly and quietly made his way to the top, and from there he listened to the sounds of the TV.

"Aghh, no, he's burning my flesshhhhh!"

"Wort, wort, wort!"

"Stop the paiiiin! Nooooo!"

The Covenant Plasma Rifle is NOT sold in stores, so call now if you want the perfect way to burn up your enemies or even roast a chicken with the efficiency of plasma!

Ariana's mom roared with laughter, unable or not wanting to control herself.

"I've told you," Ariana said without a hint of humor in her voice, "I hate Mad TV. It's so stupid." She then came to the stairs and went up to join Ren.

"Was that about the war?" Ren asked when they had safely arrived in Ariana's room. It was smaller than Ren's room, but a lot cleaner. Her bed was made, her desk was free of junk, and there weren't articles of clothing spilling like mad out of the closet.

"What—oh, you mean the TV? Yeah, they were making fun of the war. I don't think it's very funny at all. But, you know, I guess people have to relieve their stress sometimes."


"I feel like I hardly know you," Ariana said. She stared at Ren with curious eyes. "What's your last name, anyway?"

"Basely. And come to think of it," Ren rubbed his chin jokingly, "I don't know your last name, either."

"Nice to meet you, Ren Basely," she said, and outstretched her hand. "My name is Ariana Jiles."

"Jiles…" Ren pondered as he shook her hand. "I think I've heard that name somewhere—"

"You probably have," Ariana replied, suddenly frowning. "My uncle's the president or something of the pirates. They get stuff when they're out in space and sell it for money. Of course, my uncle never bothers to send his family some of the cash."

"Yeah, now I remember, Governor Jiles makes millions off of ship parts he sells—and he never gives any money to you? His adorable, beautiful niece?"

"No," Ariana said bluntly, but then added, perking up, "But he does send me some cool stuff sometimes. Look—" She turned around and went to her closet, pulled it open, and revealed a treasure trove of everything from scraps of metal to grenades.

"Are those grenades?" Ren asked warily. Most of the junk was small and meaningless, but he did notice several pieces of what looked like a Covenant vehicle.

"Yep. Uncle Jacob promises they're duds, but that didn't save him from a tantrum my mom gave him. 'Don't ever send us anything dangerous ever, ever'—"

"What's this?" Ren interrupted. He was holding a shiny scrap of blue metal about the size of a small watermelon. On one end it was perfectly curved, but on the other end several sharp points were jutting out of the object. He realized what it was before Ariana even answered him—

"That's the helmet of a Covenant Elite. Pretty cool, huh?" Ariana smiled. Ren loved it when she did that.

"Well," Ren muttered, "I don't know how it would work as a helmet…" He trailed off, and raised the metal to his head, but instead of placing it on top of his jet black hair, he put it to his face and covered his mouth. "I am Ren Basely, the ultimate bandit! Ren Basely, Criminal Extraordinaire!"

Ariana laughed. She laughed a lot like her mother. "Stop…stop that…" she tried to say between breaths. "You'll get your breath all over it…"

Ren continued joking around, but then Ariana suddenly moved closer to him. She made her face closer to his and gently pulled the helmet away from Ren's lips, and then they kissed. This time there wasn't an uncomfortable wind, there weren't any annoying kids, and the kiss lasted a lot longer. Ren felt no shock this time, just pleasure, and he held Ariana's head with one hand and moved his other hand slowly up and down her back.

"Wait," she said suddenly. Ariana turned to her door and quietly shut it, then returned to Ren. Before he knew it, they were on the bed, their bodies steadily interlocking, becoming one, becoming a whole—

"Excuse me!" a woman's voice said out of nowhere. Ren opened his eyes to find Ariana's mom in the doorway with a curious smile across her face. Without thinking he pushed Ariana off of him, jumped off the bed and straightened out his clothes.

"Um, sorry, uh, Mrs. Jiles," Ren stuttered, almost forgetting Ariana's last name. "I was about to le—"

"No, it's okay—what's your name?"

"Ren Basely."

"Ren, it's perfectly fine you're making out with my daughter. I was just shocked, just shocked…" Ren felt his heartbeat calm down a bit.

"What do you want?" Ariana asked rudely.

Her mom looked disapprovingly at her, but merely replied, "Uncle Jacob sent you something again, and it's heavy…" The woman turned in the doorway, picked up something from the ground and heaved it inside Ariana's room. The rectangular package was the size of a small child, and obviously it was too heavy for Ariana's mom to carry very far. She dumped the package at the foot of the bed and made her way to leave the room.

"Thanks," Ariana said, but she hardly looked thankful at all.

"If that thing is dangerous, you need to tell me. One more incident like last time and I'll start having the mail service block Jacob completely." She looked like she was leaving the room, but turned her eyes back to Ren. "Kiss all you want, but any farther than that and you're out of my house."

"Yes, ma'am," Ren responded, though he doubted that they were even in the mood for kissing anymore. With that Mrs. Jiles left the room.

"Sorry about that," Ariana said, and for the first time she looked shameful.

"It's really okay…" Ren said awkwardly. "Well, uh, let's open that package!"

"Okay," Ariana said glumly. She reached over the bed and pulled up, with Ren's help, the heavy brown package. They worked together in silence and within five awkward moments they had it opened.

"Hmm…" Ariana mumbled quietly, brushing away the styrofoam and bubble-wrap. At that moment, Ren saw the most interesting thing he had ever laid eyes on before. The object was a sturdy case of some sort, made of glass and a strange purple metal. Underneath the glass, however, lay a stone tablet, depicting dozens of odd characters Ren had never seen before.

"That's amazing," Ren said with awe. Adding to the glory and mystique of the object was a velvet glow that pulsed beneath the surface of the glass.

"Uncle Jacob has redeemed himself…" Ariana murmured to herself.

"And I don't think your mom will take it away, either," Ren said. "This is a lot less dangerous than those grenades."