A/N: The characters are aged up for the sake of more life experience. This idea came from a headcanon I have about Kenny's curse. Enjoy.

Comparing Scars and Counting Marks

"And this one," Butters said, turning his hand palm up, "is from setting my hand on the edge of a hot skillet."

A faint, red mark, smooth compared to the surrounding skin, stood out on the edge of the heel of Butters' right hand. Kenny hissed through his teeth and took the other boy's hand in his own, covering the scar with his fingers.

"That was when I was twelve, Ken. It doesn't hurt anymore."

"I know, but the thought of it is painful. Burns are one of the worst pains," Kenny said. And he would know. Being burned alive or being doused with scalding water, both were agonizing surface pains that seared deep but took far too long to ultimately kill.

Seeing the discomfort in Kenny's grimace, Butters slipped his fingers between his and cupped Kenny's cheek before scooting in and pressing a kiss to his lips. He pulled away, smiling warmly and sucking his lips in. Kenny's heart warmed. Butters had a way of warming him even on such evenings as these when tiny snowflakes fluttered down and melted against the clear surface of Stark's Pond. The two watched this from their seat on the bench, hands held firmly on Kenny's lap. Butters looked at their hands again. He lifted them and turned Kenny's in front of his face.

"What's the matter?" Kenny asked.

"Have you ever been burnt then?"

Kenny pulled his hand back, hiding it in his lap. He'd thought about how he might answer this question, but no response ever seemed sufficient.

"Yeah, but never bad enough to leave a scar or anything."

"Don't you have any scars? They're nothing to be ashamed of."

"I know. I just guess I don't get hurt easy," Kenny replied.

"Well gee, you must have some scars. On your ankle or somethin'? I thought I remembered that."

To this, Kenny leaned close, arm around Butters, and he said in a whisper, "How 'bout I let ya check my body real good? Maybe I missed some."

Butters giggled bashfully, and that seemed to successfully take his attention off of Kenny's unnatural lack of scarring.

In fact, the ankle scar that Butters was faintly remembering came from a dog attack. Kenny had been sharing his stash of bottle rockets with Cartman last summer behind the empty school parking lot when a careless shot struck a mangy stray, shocking it into attack mode. Cartman had scooped up the fireworks and ran off to his car while the dog snarled and jerked Kenny's leg around in his teeth. Kenny was sure that Cartman was going to leave him to get eaten by the rabid mutt (Kenny was also sure that he was the only teenager around who could successfully be eaten by a dog). But to his great surprise, Cartman rammed his car into the mutt, sending it flying before Kenny hobbled quickly into the passenger seat.

Cartman did complain about Kenny getting blood in his car though. And for a little over three months, Kenny sported quite the impressive bite scar. Then he had an unlucky run in with a tractor trailer taking a road it wasn't supposed to be on, and it was hello bedroom ceiling and goodbye cool scar. As well as goodbye cool earring studs he'd tried to be extra careful with. All anyone said again about those was Kyle off-handedly making the comment, "Huh, I coulda sworn you had your ears pierced. I don't know why," and just like Butters' comment about the ankle scar, it was barely a vague inkling. Such was the cycle of death and rebirth. His body made little sense to him. He could age. He could grow hair and nails that always returned to their proper states. But his skin was an un-mappable, ever changing terrain.

"C'mon boy," Stuart said to his son from the other side of the large, metal shelf. They were moving it to the back of the garage to cover the back window so nobody could pass by and see the goings on inside. It sounded like paranoia to Kenny, as the passerby would have to be passing by through the back yard. But he wasn't usually one to speak up about other people's business. He rubbed his palms against his jeans where the metal dug into them, then returned his grip on the shelf and helped his dad carry the thing to the wall.

Stuart grabbed Kenny's wrists. "Look at these hands. They're like baby hands. Haven't you ever done a day of work in your life? You're almost a senior. At your age, my hands were all callous."

Kenny pulled his hands back and walked out of the garage.

"Where ya goin'?"

He turned around. "Was there somethin' else?"

"Naw. I don't guess not."

"I'm goin' to Stan's"

But Kenny wasn't going to Stan's house. Butters opened his front door brightly and let Kenny in.

"I got you a soda," Butters said, coming into his room. Kenny took the can gratefully, sitting on the floor with his back against Butters' bed. He cracked open the can and took a few large gulps to ease his dehydration. "Thanks," he said, setting the can beside himself on the floor. "I didn't realize I was that thirsty." He pulled his shirt off and used it to rub his face, then tossed it to the side.

"Hey!" Butters said suddenly. "You have a birthmark on your chest. Why did I never notice it before?" Kenny looked at the little brown mark and frowned. He wanted to tell Butters not to get used to it, but he figured it wasn't worth the trouble. Butters was always quick to recognize when Kenny was less than chipper, and so he crawled onto the bed, draped his legs over Kenny's shoulders, and asked, "What's wrong? You can tell me if somethin's bothering you."

Butters sat his can on top of Kenny's head and cracked it open. He drank, and Kenny squeezed his legs lovingly. With a sigh, he explained his frustration with his dad's paranoia.

"Then he said my hands were too smooth cause I don't work enough. Like he's not a lazy bum. What's he done in the past twenty years?"

"Aw, what's he know? You're a real hard worker. Besides, I like your smooth hands."

Butters spoke these last words with a mischievously shy tone that Kenny found adorable. But Kenny knew he couldn't vent everything to Butters. Specifically, the fact that this hadn't been the first time someone commented on his smooth baby hands. But death and rebirth also prevented him from developing literal hard skin. Being known for his delicate features wasn't something Kenny aspired to. In fact, the idea made him want to throw up.

Butters began to scratch at Kenny's hairline, and Kenny sighed and lolled his head forward as Butters' fingers delved into his shaggy locks. These intimate touches were what helped the two of them forget their troubles. Butters' fingers traveled down, across that ever changing terrain of Kenny's body. He stopped to rub at the back of Kenny's right shoulder.

"Did you know you have stretch marks on the back of your shoulders?" Butters asked.

Kenny sighed. "Yeah." Another effect of death and rebirth meant that he grew rapidly into his age. Stretch marks were another reminder of his cursed body. "They're ugly, I know."

"I don't think so!" Butters quickly stated. "They're not ugly at all! I like them." To this, Kenny looked back at him quizzically, and Butters continued, saying, "Yeah. They're very... you. Heehee."

"Whatdya mean very me?"

"I guess that sounds a little weird, but you've just always had them. Even when we were kids, I remember seeing them on your back and behind your knees and thinking they looked cool."

"You... remembered them?"

"Well yeah, gee. Why wouldn't I?" Butters fiddled with Kenny's hair and added, "You have them on your inner thighs, too. I think... they're sexy."

Kenny kept his gaze on Butters as he rotated to his knees. Butters blushed in response. Sometimes he thought he was beyond blushing in front of Kenny, but he was, on many occasions, proven wrong.

"W-what?" Butters asked.

Kenny took Butters' can from him and sat it beside his own on the floor. Returning to his looming position, Kenny said, "Baby if you wanna look at my sexy stretch marks, you can ask any time."

Butters giggled. He covered his face. He could never prepare for Kenny's sudden flirtatious attacks, but when Kenny crawled forward, putting his body over him, Butters took Kenny's face between his hands, returned the deep gaze, and said, "I don't care what marks you have as long as it's still you. As long as it's still you I'm with, I don't care."

Kenny took Butters' hands into his own, feeling them. But his eyes stayed on Butters. His eyes. His face. Where was Butters looking when he was looking at Kenny? Somehow, Butters had learned to look at people in a way Kenny had never thought about being looked at. Butters had a scar across his left eye that Kenny had put there when they were nine, but when Kenny tried to put his fingers on it, Butters turned his head away, shaking it.

"Be with me," Butters said, and for the first time, Kenny heard this as something more than a shy offer for sex. And so he replied:

"I will. Over and over again, I will."