In Lieu of Ladders

"Remind me why I'm here again?"

Stan didn't actually expect a response to his self-directed mutterings, by Kyle gave an answer nonetheless. "Because you love me, now shut the fuck up and give me a hand."

Stan hated it when Kyle said things like that. He hated them because they actually meant something to him. Kyle probably meant nothing by it, or meant it in a completely platonic way, which both added up to about the same thing as far as Stan was concerned. A mess of confusion, that's all it was.

Still, he gathered his wits about him and laced his fingers together, offering a step-up for Kyle to climb over Cartman's backyard fence. If Kyle and Cartman's stupid antagonism hadn't escalated over the years, then Cartman's mom wouldn't have had the damn thing built, and Stan wouldn't have been stuck there dealing with Kyle's newest form of retribution.

"Argh, I'm stuck!"

"Figures," Stan grumbled under his breath and rolled his eyes, which he doubted Kyle noticed due to his struggling with the chain link tangled with his shoelace. "Hold still, asshole! Nearly kicked me in the face… Dude, seriously, quit fucking moving for two seconds." Kyle finally ceased his thrashing and Stan freed Kyle's laces.

"Thanks, dude."

"Eh, whatever."

The two made their way over the fence without further issue. Once they made it to the shed, Kyle swore. Apparently Cartman had finally wizened up to how Kyle kept breaking into his room and moved the ladder elsewhere.

"C'mon dude, let's just go, you can get him back later."

"No, Stan! The fat fucker's got to pay!"

Stan barely managed to restrain a growl. Why did it matter so much to get Cartman back this time? Sure, the jackass deserved to have the living hell beat out of him, but it wasn't like he did something dreadful this time. All he did was insinuate that Kyle might have been not entirely straight. And he wasn't. But did that matter? No, of course not, because Cartman meant to be offensive, so of course Kyle had to get back at him.

It didn't make a damn bit of sense.

"Are you really that insecure?" Stan huffed. He didn't even expect an answer and didn't bother looking at Kyle, instead starting to circle around under Cartman's window, searching for another way up.

"Of course not."

The quietly mumbled words caused Stan to turn and glance over his shoulder. "Could have fooled me." Stan knew he was baiting Kyle's ire, but he didn't really care at the moment.

"Oh please," Kyle snapped, his eyes glinting dangerously. "You're hardly one to talk about insecurity in that department."

"What the fuck is that supposed to mean?"

Before he could so much as blink, Stan found himself shoved up against the siding of the house, chafed paint flakes drifting in the air around him like dust motes. Kyle's rough grip on his shoulders pinned him there.

"You keep giving me this damned look, and you never fucking say anything." Kyle must have seen a flash of recognition in Stan's eyes, because his glare instantly softened to something resembling affectionate frustration. "Stupid bastard."

"You're the stupid bastard," Stan protested, albeit weakly. "Always saying shit… Never know what the fuck you mean by it."

Kyle buried one of his hands in Stan's mess of hair and tugged, hard. The next thing Stan was aware of was his lip being bitten sharply and his mouth being plundered. He barely registered the noises escaping his own throat until Kyle pulled away and he heard his own ragged breaths.

"Was that direct enough for you?"

Stan licked his lips and eyed Kyle. "Think so. Might need to double-check, though."

Kyle just smirked.

It wasn't until the next day that Stan could appreciate the irony of making out with Kyle under Cartman's window after the idiot had challenged his sexuality. He idly wondered if he should inform Cartman of their activities, just to see if the fatass would have an apoplectic fit.