So, this is the last chapter. (Wow, and just in time for the new season, too.) I want to thank everyone one last time for reading/reviewing!
The next fic I'll be working on will be a Cartman/Wendy multichapter fic. I don't expect to do be very popular, being het (heh), but hopefully you'll give it a shot if you liked LBUTR. To entice you, I will mention that there will be a minor Kyle/Stan subplot.
Wendy was standing on her tiptoes, peering over the heads of the customers of Shakey's Pizza and trying to see the front door. She was wearing her favorite skirt, which showed off her nice soccer legs, which she'd stopped wearing to school because Kenny was a creepy whore.
But it was just a coincidence she was wearing it today. Really.
She frowned and dropped back down on her feet, biting absently at a recently painted fingernail.
"Ugh, they let you hippies in everywhere nowadays."
Wendy spun around to face Cartman, who'd done something weird to his hair. But then, Cartman was always doing something weird to his hair, so that was just a coincidence, too.
"What are you doing here?" Wendy said loftily, brushing off the front of her skirt.
"I come here all the time, ho. What are you doing here?"
"I come here all the time, too!" They glared at each other as the line moved up.
"What can I get for you?" the cashier asked pleasantly.
"Slaughterhouse pizza and an extra large Dr. Pep."
"I'm sorry, sir," the cashier said, "but we don't sell slaughterhouse pizza anymore. NAG has shown us the light, and now we only sell healthy alternatives."
"I understand," Cartman said. "But maybe you have some slaughterhouse for my friend... Mr. Hamilton?"
"That's George Washington," Wendy hissed at him.
"I think I know the difference between the presidents, bitch."
"Alexander Hamilton wasn't a president!"
"Hell, I'll take it," the cashier said. "They hardly pay us at all." He took the dollar from Cartman and slipped it into his pocket. "And for you, little lady?"
"A slice of veggie pizza and a small diet coke," she said promptly. The cashier turned to grab their order from the pre-made pizza circling slowly under the heating lamps. Wendy glanced sideways at Cartman.
"We aren't ordering together," she informed him. "It's just that he asked, and the line is so slow."
"You don't need to tell me, little lady," Cartman mocked. Wendy glared.
The cashier returned; Cartman and Wendy both dug into their wallets, then Wendy grabbed her tray and marched off to find a table. Cartman trailed after her.
Unfortunately, because it was Saturday afternoon, most of the tables were taken by elementary students, middle schoolers, and mothers who'd rather resort to fast food than fix their children lunch. Wendy scanned the room, located a small table by the window, and quickly headed over before someone else could get to it.
Cartman set down his tray the moment she sat down.
"Excuse me," she said. "Go find your own table."
"They're all taken."
She snorted and gestured to the opposite side of the room. "There're three over there."
"What, next to that woman that can't keep her legs closed and her brood? I don't want some whore bitching at me for not censoring myself so her crotch fruit aren't subjected to opinions other than her own." He sat down opposite her and started digging into his pizza.
"God," she breathed, "is there anything that you don't complain about?"
He actually seemed to consider this, then he scowled. "Hey, there's plenty I'm not complaining about at the moment." She wrinkled her noise as he continued eating, and he said, "Like, for instance, that bitchy face your making. I'm not gagging because you're eating some vegetable shit."
She glared. "You could stand to eat less, you know."
"You could stand to eat more."
"I'm watching my weight. Guys don't like fat girls."
"Well, I'm going to hate you no matter how skinny you get."
Wendy frowned at him, then glanced down at her picked-at piece of pizza. Then she clenched her teeth, shoved it away from herself, and grabbed a slice of Cartman's pizza, which was laden with sausage, pepperoni, chicken, and what was quite possibly road kill, knowing this town.
"Ey, bitch! That's mine!"
She made a face at him as she scarfed it down. "Bet I can eat more than you."
"It's mine!" he snapped, and then it was a competition, so obviously neither of them could let the other win. Wendy was halfway through her third piece when she starting coughing.
"If you choke to death you forfeit," Cartman informed her.
Wendy grabbed her drink and downed the entire thing, then fanned her face. "Damn," she choked out, her face falling as she looked down at the ice in the bottom of her cup. "I wish I'd gotten a larger drink."
"So go get some more instead of bitching about it."
"I don't want to wait in that nightmare of a line for a drink."
Cartman rolled his eyes. "Dumbass, the fountain's right there. Just go and fill it back up."
Wendy gave him a scandalized look. "You're not supposed to do that!"
"So? Everyone does."
"You're still not supposed to!"
"God damn it, and you said I complain," Cartman grumbled, and slid his oversized drink across at her. "Just drink it and shut up."
Wendy took a grateful swig and then lowered the cup, giving him a thoughtful look.
"What?" Cartman demanded rudely.
"... My group failed the project, you know."
Cartman snorted. "Obviously. You were PMSing all over the place."
"If I'd made my group help me instead of doing all the work, we won't have," she added, playing with her straw.
"Well that's because you're a self-absorbed super-bitch."
She glared at him a little. "I heard you did your group's report."
"You hear that from the fag?"
"Quit calling Kyle that!" she cried, banging her palms against the table.
"He is one. It'd be like not calling him a Jew."
"He's also a friend of mine!"
"Well you have terrible taste in people!"
Wendy scowled out the window. "You're right," she muttered, "I do." She sighed and looked back at him. "Why did you write the report?"
"The satisfaction of proving you wrong, ho."
She blinked and her eyebrows rose, and then she took another sip of his soda and smiled a little.
"You know what's nice about you?" she said suddenly. Cartman lifted an eyebrow at her in a 'go on' sort of fashion. "I don't have to try around you. I can be as spiteful as I want around you, and you don't care. It doesn't matter to you if I'm vindictive or jealous or down right nasty."
"You know what's amazing about you?" he asked, and Wendy gave him a surprised look until he continued. "Your uncanny ability to ruin an otherwise pleasant conversation by talking."
But when she smiled at him, he smiled back.
Stan sat on his living room couch, staring dumbly at the floor between his feet.
What he really wished was that he lived under an oppressive totalitarian regime. Then he could just have some kindly dictator tell him how he should think and everything would be so much easier.
He sighed and his front door opened, and Kyle walked in without knocking. "Stan?"
"Stan, I think we should talk," Kyle said, moving tentatively in front of him. Stan didn't look up, and Kyle frowned. "Stan?"
Stan thought about all the places they went to together, and all the movies they saw together, and things they did together, and just all the time they spent together that Kenny spent hitting on chicks and Cartman spent harassing Wendy - or that any other guy in their graduating class spent with girls. And, God, it was obvious, wasn't it?
"Why didn't you tell me we were dating?" he asked sullenly.
Looking somewhat relieved he'd gotten a response, Kyle sat down next to him on the couch.
"It was going so well. I thought it might jeopardize our relationship if you knew there was a relationship." He kept a straight face for all of two seconds, then he started to laugh.
Stan finally looked up. "Really?"
"No, not really," Kyle snickered, then sobered up. "I mean... I was going to tell you. But then I just kept waiting for the right time and putting it off, and then too much time passed. Like when you keep a library book under your bed for three years. You can't just waltz in one day and return it, you know?" He shifted so that his hand was hanging off the back of the couch and their shoulders were touching. "Anyway, you're pretty perceptive. I knew you'd figure it out eventually."
"Yeah..." Stan said slowly. "But - God - Butters knew before me."
"Well... admittedly, you're sort of oblivious when it comes to relationships."
"What! Since when?"
"Since always. Remember when Wendy broke up with you?"
Stan frowned at him. "Yes."
"No, I mean, do you remember when Wendy broke up with you?"
"Um... it was a week or so after all that crap with Rob Riener."
Kyle shook his head, smiling in an almost sympathetic way. "Man," he said, "she broke up with you a little while after she got her breast implants taken back out."
Stan gaped at him. "What?"
"You said so yourself. You hadn't talked to her for weeks. Seriously, the whole school knew you weren't an item anymore. Wendy finally got tired of waiting for you to realize it and made Bebe tell you."
Stan stared at him. "Everyone knew?"
"You just don't notice these things."
He was quiet for a minute, and then he groaned and said, "Oh, fuck, I was jealous OF Wendy."
"Mm-hm," Kyle said, nodding. "Everyone knows that, too, by the way."
Stan blew out an aggravated breath and leaned back into the couch and, incidentally, into Kyle. Kyle shifted closer, and then he said, "Um." Stan glanced at him.
"Um," he said again. "Okay, I admit, I'm sort of bullshitting you. I mean, yeah it was harder to tell you because I was putting it off, but I was putting it off because - well - is it okay?"
Stan looked at him blankly. "What?"
"That we're dating. Is that okay?"
"Oh," Stan said, and then, "oh." Because it was sort of stupid, but for all the reasons Kyle could have had to keep him in the dark, Stan hadn't even considered fear of rejection as one of them.
He silent for a while, and so was Kyle, and then he grinned at him. "Well, yeah. After all. What sort of asshole puts himself before his mother?"
Kyle gave him a confused look. "What?"
"The terrorists have Fiona Apple."
Kyle shook his head. "I haven't the faintest idea what you're talking about."
"Damn it, are you going to make me say it?" Stan asked, screwing up his face. "I want to be with you." He paused, then groaned. "Man, that sounds so gay."
Kyle laughed a little, distinctively relieved. "Wow, nothing gets past you, does it? With those perceptive skills of yours, I'm amazed you didn't realize sooner."
"Shut up," Stan said, elbowing him. Kyle snickered and elbowed him back, and Stan put him in a headlock, and Kyle lunged forward and knocked them both off the couch, and when they finally settled down again Stan was squashed between the edge of the couch and Kyle, half-lying on him.
"I don't really want to be gay," Stan confessed, talking into Kyle's shoulder.
"So then don't be."
Stan snorted. "Smartass."
Kyle nudged him. "Well, I'm not. Mostly."
"You have the typical male obsession with lesbians, at least," Stan muttered. Kyle frowned at him.
"How'd you know that?"
"... oh, shit," he swore.
Understanding dawned on Kyle. "You're the one who broke into my room."
"Um, yeah," Stan said, and winced. "You're not pissed, are you?"
"Damn right I'm pissed. You abandoned me to Cartman."
Stan squinted at him. "... but you're not pissed I broke into your room and went through our stuff?"
Kyle shrugged. "Not mostly. I should have figured it was you. If Kenny ever found out I had porn he'd 'borrow' it without permission and I'd never see it again." He paused, then he said, in a funny sort of tone, "You didn't go through the DVDs under my bed... right?"
"What, the Star Trek?" Stan said. "No, why?"
"No reason," Kyle said quickly. Stan squinted at him suspiciously.
"... What's in those Star Trek cases?"
"Star Trek DVDs?" Kyle suggested hopefully.
"My God," Stan said. "That's where you keep your gay porn, isn't it?" he exclaimed.
"Quiet!" Kyle hissed. "And, NO, it is not!" But it was the same sort of 'no' Stan had been using all week long.
"Oh, sick, it is," Stan said, making a face. "Oh, sick, I touched the box."
"Shut up!" Kyle said in a less polite reiteration of his last comment.
Stan just shook his head. "Christ, how much porn do you watch?"
Kyle was silent.
"I'm trying to remember."
Stan snorted, amused, and they laid there for awhile while Kyle absentmindedly drew patterns on Stan's stomach with his finger and told him Kirk and Spock were as gay as gay could be, anyway.
"Hey," Stan said suddenly, as the thought occured to him, and prodded Kyle.
"I'm not going to have to find out from the the school when we start sleeping together, am I?"
Kyle gaped at him. Then he started to laugh.
"Don't worry," he assured him. "I'll make sure you notice."