Stan transfers to Kyle's college to be closer to him, he finds Kyle
has become increasingly cold, distant, and secretive. The closer Stan
comes to uncovering the secret, the farther away Kyle
seems...Cowritten with Indiana Beach Bum. SLASH
Warnings: Swearing, boys kissing boys, maybe some violence in the future.
Disclaimer: We don't own South Park.
AN: Hello! This is a new sort of style, for both IBB and me, for reasons you'll find out eventually. As IBB has said when it comes to The Reformation,"think less romantic comedy and more Donnie Darko." It's your only clue for the nature of this story. Updates are going to be a little on the sporadic side since we're both busy bees but rest assured the story will be completed! Read on dear readers and let us know what you think!
The Reformation of Kyle Broflovski
I. The Beginning
I stare uselessly out the window, beginning to count the number of trees that we have passed. It's been a little under a half hour, and I'd say Kenny has spoken less than five words to me. I knew it was gonna be hard on him, me transferring schools and all, but I didn't really think he'd take it like this.
"Dude, I'm only going to be an hour away," I start quietly.
I know he's heard what I said due to the slight clench in his jaw and the tightening of his hands on the steering wheel, but he doesn't respond and I turn my head again, attempting to make eye contact. He hasn't looked at me once either, which is making me feel guilty. I mean, we both knew this day would happen. I've been saving up my money for too many years to waste my life on the stupid community college. Besides, what can go wrong at a place called Jackson Vanderbilt College? I feel like I have to wear a suit just to get in the doors.
Kenny sighs softly, and I know its cause he sees me looking at him. I shift my focus to the dashboard and the speedometer, noticing that his piece of shit car doesn't even have a speedometer. I can't make fun of it though…I don't even have a car. I sold my baby for some more money for college. I figure that I can always hitch a ride with Ky to get back to good 'ole South Park for the holidays. And we're only an hour away…so it's not like I can't convince Ken to pick me up.
"Kenny, come on man…we can see each other every fucking day if we wanted to!"
I look at him again and he's nice enough to avert his eyes to glance at me briefly before staring back ahead at the long stretch of road. He's avoiding me, just like he has been all week. This past semester has been awesome for us, friendship wise. We've never been closer…but that's due to Kyle being so far away. I think I pissed Kenny off with my excitement of transferring to JV College. He didn't think I'd leave in the middle of the year. Part of me thinks he's jealous over the fact that I'm getting out and he's not. Part of me thinks he's jealous because Kyle's gonna be my best friend again.
"Dude…you okay?" I ask him, already knowing that answer.
"I'm fine," he answers, short and definitely not "fine." I hate when he gets like this.
"You know Ken, you can visit Kyle and me anytime."
Kenny raises his eyebrows slightly, but his eyes remain glued to that road. "I know, I just don't see…why," he stops as if he's too angry to continue on. "Why you have to go to Kyle's college. What's wrong with staying at South Park Community College with me? Am I not good enough for you?" He asks bitterly causing me to sigh and shift uncomfortably. "Besides what's the point in visiting an all guys college? I won't get any action…" He mutters the last bit more to himself.
I ignore the comment. "You know it isn't like that, it's just…"
"Kyle's your best friend, and I'm just your friend. Got it, thanks for the clarification Stan."
I sigh and look out to where he's looking, because Kenny's damn close to the truth. After all, saving up to transfer into Kyle's school later was the plan all along, I just never got around to informing him of that.
The rain has become increasingly steady, though in the beginning it was on and off. It's still just a light drizzle, but enough to make me feel sleepy and uneasy. I should be happy that I'm moving in with Kyle.
I am happy I'm moving in with Kyle. It's Kenny who's bringing me down.
"Dude cheer up!" I yell, wishing he wouldn't try so hard to make me feel bad.
At this, Kenny turns to me. "I'm cheered. See?" He fake smiles, which just pisses me off, and then turns back to the road.
"Look at me, Ken," I demand.
"I gotta see the road to be able to get you there, Stan," he explains, sounding slightly irritated.
"Do you always gotta be so Goddamn difficult…"I mutter. "Do you want to part on bad terms Kenny, we can do that you know. I can spend every waking moment thinking only of Kyle and this new college and not an ounce on you. I was going to call you every few days but if you're going to be –"
"I get it," he interrupts. "Excuse a guy for being upset over the fact his best friend's leaving him for another friend."
I growl. I am not leaving him. I'm just...moving farther away. Hell, I'm moving closer to my best friend, and I can't let Kenny see the smile that's forming on my face at that thought. Instead, I close my eyes and take a deep breath. This fight is stupid. I don't want Ken to be angry when he moves me in.
From the sounds of it, Ky's got a pretty bitching set up. I wouldn't know, since I've never actually been over there yet.
...Come to think of it, I wonder why he hasn't directly invited me. Being that we ARE only an hour away, you'd think the guy would miss me enough to invite me up. But it's always been him coming back to the Park. When I've questioned him about coming over he always shrugs me off and changes the subject, but, whatever, we'll be together soon anyway.
Before then I need to focus back on Kenny and getting him to come to terms with this. I am moving in with Kyle and that's the end of it. "Kenny," I start up and he finally gives me a clean hard look.
"I know Stan, drop it okay? Like you said, we don't want to part on bad terms."
I frown at him and watch him turn back to the road. It's pretty hard not to part on bad terms when he's pissed off at me. "Hey," I start again lightly, "remember that time we went to a strip club to get me a girlfriend and instead we got drunk off our asses and ended up dancing on stage?"
He snorts slightly, "yeah, so what's your point?"
"My point is those are our memories, no Kyle involved, all us."
"And with you to Preppy College USA, we won't be making any more memories will we?" he bites back, and I can almost hear him snarl. Damn.
I throw my head back onto the seat and sigh loudly. "You want me to stay in shitty South Park? Is that what you want?" As soon as I say that, I regret it. Because the look he gives me is cold enough to send me crawling back home. And if I had a tail, it'd be between my legs.
"Stan, you can have fun at school. I don't fucking care anymore. We've had our fun, and now that you have the real Kyle, I can stop pretending to be his replacement."
"You aren't his replacement, dude!" I cry, exasperated. Jesus Christ, I feel like a whole semester's worth of feelings are erupting on me at once.
"Then what exactly am I?" He responds icily, almost gritting his teeth together.
I hesitate momentarily as I figure out how to answer without getting him worked up, "…you're a close friend."
"I'm a close friend said after an awkward pause? That's nice."
"Well shit Ken what do you want me to say?" I bite back at him. I'm tired of fighting, and I'm tired of him trying to guilt trip me.
"What do I want you to say?" He shakes his head in disbelief and I eye him curiously as he pulls off onto the shoulder, stopping the car to look directly at me. "What I want to hear from you is that even though you're going back to Kyle's side like the good dog you are – don't interrupt me." He cuts me off before I have the chance, "that even so you're going to miss me. Why do I have to ask you to say that? God, you can be such an inconsiderate bastard."
With that he pulls back onto the highway, and I'm left staring at him. He always manages to guilt trip me. But really, that's all he wanted me to say? I didn't think I needed to say it, I figured he'd just know.
"Ken, of course I'm going to miss you," I say, hardly able to believe that he might think otherwise.
He snorts, "don't say it because I want you to."
"I'm not! I will miss you, why would you think I wouldn't?"
"I never said I thought you wouldn't…but you know, a person likes to hear these kinds of things," he responds looking over his shoulder to check his blind spot before changing lanes.
"Yeah…well, I will dude. It's gonna be weird not hanging out every few days."
"I thought you said I could come by every fucking day if I wanted to?" He asks raising a brow at me and I'm quick to respond.
"You can dude."
"Stan," he sighs. "I'm not driving here every day. I have other things to do you know." I nod my head understandably, "but…" he presses on getting my attention once more. "I can call every so often, if it doesn't like…cut into your Kyle time or whatever."
"You won't be, but I'll let you know if you are," I tease.
Kenny doesn't look amused but he nods lightly. "Hey I wonder what kind of music is in the airspace around here," I watch as he happily flicks on the radio and goes through the stations, stopping on one near the end of the FM. "Dude, I hate this song, and what sucks is it's so fucking popular, so I have to hear this guys whine he likes to call a voice all the time," Kenny continues to babble as I try to understand what just happened.
"Wait…" I turn down the radio. "Are we cool, or…?" I trail off leaving the sentence open for him to correct me.
After giving me a quizzical look he nods, "yeah dude we're cool, you shouldn't linger on fights man, not good for you," he answers before turning the music back up and drumming his fingers on the steering wheel.
"What the hell?!" I turn the radio back down again and he gives me an annoyed look as I glare back. "You were the one bitching and moaning just a few seconds ago!"
The annoyed look falls from his face and he smirks knowingly. Before I get the chance to question him on that look he glances ahead and points, "dude, we're here."
It takes probably four seconds for his words to register in my brain, and like that, my attention is diverted to what lies ahead of us. The large steel beams that construct a rather plain sign that reads "Jackson Vanderbilt College: Established 1922." I strain my eyes to see past the mist and fog and one by one, the buildings slowly come into view. All of them are the renovated gothic style with the pointed arches and thick gray walls. There is a central building with five or six other relatively large buildings nearby. The dormitories are spread out on each side of the campus in clusters. I can see them in the distance. It all looks ridiculously expensive and well kept.
It's so beautiful though. The closer we drive, the more details I notice. The windows are like double-pained glass, and they have that wavy look to them cause they're so thick. There's a cathedral tower at the top of the central building. It reads "J. Vanderbilt Building" over top the arched doorway, but Kenny drives to the side of it before I can see anything more. The entire campus is lined with sidewalks that lead to and from every one of the buildings, with antique fountains placed here and there for an outdoor garden effect.
I'm pretty interested in architecture, and the few books I do own are over the different styles and movements of the 1900's, particularly the gothic revival period. When Kyle told me about the courses offered in architecture here, it peaked my interest. I started saving my money to pursue that major, and to be near him, of course.
I feel my palms start to sweat as we head past the major buildings on the only main road, which slices the campus in half. I don't know why I'm so nervous, it's not like I haven't been outside of South Park before. I mean, that's what it must be. I'm nervous because I'm about to attend a real school. One with dorms and meaningful classes and everything, one where my best friend will literally be a few feet away from me instead of a few hours. It was torture staying at home when I knew he was getting the whole "college experience" everyone always talks about.
My emotional welcoming of the college suddenly makes me feel extra sorry for Kenny. He's gonna be stuck in the rut of community college due purely to bad genes. He couldn't get enough money to make it even if he saved every penny he made. Somehow the McCormick's are unlucky like that.
I see the envy in Kenny's eyes as he takes in the sights as well. I do feel bad for him, but Christ! He can be such a girl sometimes. What the hell was that earlier? I'm gonna do my best to avoid the subject and hopefully he'll do his best to ignore it. He can't get angry with me because of this. I feel like I've finally made a positive step in my life!
Kenny's car sputters to a stop into a cramped parking spot. He puts the engine in park and I do one last glance-around before stepping out into the drizzle. The sky is different shades of gray, so the buildings are camouflaged. I squint to identify the building in front of us. Windermere Hall. Yep, this is the place. Room 333. I memorized that the first night Kyle called me and told me. With Kenny's permission, I gather my luggage from the trunk, and take off in a half-sprint to get inside.
I swing the door open and wait impatiently for Kenny to follow. He eventually trudges in, carrying a few boxes, my alarm clock, and my mp3 player. I travel lightly. Ky's already got the laptop, the stereo, the fridge, the furniture, and the TV. All I needed were the essentials. Books, underwear, and music.
I dig through my pocket, flip open my phone and give Kyle a ring. A few minutes later, after Kenny whines again about the lack of females, I see a familiar face push open the door to the stairs with a warm smile.
"Hey man," I say with my own smile. He walks over aggressively and brings me to his chest. We exchange a patting on the back before pulling away and just grinning at each other. It's good to see him again.
"God I missed you," he says grinning, before turning to the sulking heap beside me. "Kenny!" He says and attempts to give Kenny a half hug but Ken casts his eyes to the side, clearly uninterested in the greeting. I scowl at him completely annoyed. Being pissed at me is one thing; being pissed at Kyle is unacceptable.
Elbowing him angrily he gives me a harsh glare but he lets it drop. He looks back to Kyle and gives him an easy, though somewhat false, smile. "Hey Kyle," he says simply.
Kyle looks back and forth at us, confusion written all over his face, but I don't feel now is the best time to give him an explanation. He looks as if he might attempt to hug Kenny again, but I do my best to give him a discreet don't-push-your-luck look. He seems to read it pretty well and instead grabs a few boxes from Kenny's overwhelmed arms.
"Here, let me," he says with a smile.
Kenny lets him take them but doesn't offer a thank you, causing a really awkward silence between the three of us that rarely happens. "Well, are you going to show us the room or not? I need to get back home," Kenny questions.
"Oh yeah, right," Kyle snaps back to the task at hand and turns to enter the building, holding the door for Kenny and I to go through. "Up ahead," he starts as he walks through and lets the door close behind him. "Is the main lounge area, there's private and public study rooms, a flat screen, game room, vending machines, things like that. And it's also where the mail room is. I can show you that stuff later. Stairs or elevator?" Kyle questions.
"We can handle a few flights," I say with a nod, excited to see the room. My head had been leaning in every direction that Kyle had pointed out each room, but I can't see much from where I'm standing, but like he said, we can see that stuff later.
Heading up the stairs that are to the side of the building we pass a few other students. Some Kyle says a polite hello to, and others he completely ignores. At one time, near the second floor an intense looking taller blonde guy, probably an upperclassmen, heads down, stopping when he sees us. He glances at me with a raised eyebrow before glancing at Kyle.
"The best friend from South Park I presume?" He asks.
I grin at the thought that Kyle's been talking about me with his friends here, but when I turn to look at him his expression has cooled considerably. "Yes, this is Stan, and the blonde's Kenny, another friend from South Park."
"That's nice," he answers lightly and starts to continue his trek down the stairs. "I'll see you soon Kyle."
"Welcome to JV College Stan," he adds lastly, not giving me time to say anything back.
I look at Kyle before noticing that Kenny's eyes are following the guy down the stairs with a frown. "Who's that?" Kenny asks, speaking up without a hint of malice for the first time since we got here.
"That's the President of the student body, Miller, he's also the President of the High Honor Society."
"The High Honor Society?" I question. "That's a bit of a mouthful, why can't they just call it Honor Society like everyone else?"
"Because it's not the same," Kyle snaps at me and I jump at him in surprise. He seems to have realized his overreaction and mutters a calm apology. He plasters on another smile and once we've reached the third floor he pushes open the door and gestures toward the hallway. "Welcome to Windermere three, Stan."
I grin at him, even giving one to Kenny. He finally gives me a weak one back, but he looks a little distracted. Deciding to let him be, I follow Kyle down to 333.
He doesn't bother with a dramatic entrance or a pause for effect. Kyle grips the handle and pushes into the door quickly, and before I can even prepare myself for the room, I'm standing in it.
I've always heard about how cool old dormitories can be, but up until this very moment, I never realized how into architecture I really am. Kenny sighs loudly, indicating his lack of interest. I feel Kyle's eyes on me. I think he's gauging my reaction.
"Told you it was sweet, dude," he speaks up, answering my thoughts. He walks over to the thick, double-pained window and gestures for me to follow. When I get there, he grins and wiggles his eyebrows. "Get ready for the best part."
This raises my curiosity, and I stand dumbfounded as Kyle pushes the window up high enough for a person to fit through. He lifts his leg and straddles the windowsill, looking back at me with intense and daring green eyes. "You're not afraid of heights, are you Stanley?" he mocks in a challenging tone.
I stifle a laugh and push him out the rest of the way so I can do the same. He chuckles back, now outside of the window with feet planted firmly on the roof. I contort my body to fit through the narrow opening, and step out as well. I gawk at what I see, taking in the scenery of the entire campus. Kyle's room has to be just about the most awesome college dorm there ever was. And now it's mine! I'm liking this place more and more.
I turn to face Kyle, whose eyes are squinting to avoid the steady drizzle of rain. He reaches up to scratch his nose, and I study his expression as he looks off coolly into the distance. His eyes lock with someone or something, and that dreamy smile of his fades. He turns toward me. "Let's get back inside." I frown and ignore his request.
"Stan, it's cold. It's raining, my hair is going to frizz."
I groan, faking more annoyance than what I feel, and reluctantly obey. As I follow him back to the inside, my mind swarms with ideas on how to make the most of that rooftop. When looking around, I noticed Ky's room is one of the only few that have direct access to it, and something tells me he's used it for a lot.
"Where's Ken?" Kyle asks, knocking me out of my reverie. As my eyes adjust to the natural darkness of the room, I notice that the box Kenny was holding is sitting on the unmade bed (presumably mine), and the door is wide open. Did he leave?
I casually but hurriedly jog out of the room, glancing both directions and then sprinting in the direction we came to catch up with my friend. I don't know what's going on—he should be happy for me. This is what I want. To be with Kyle.
I sigh and slow down. Maybe this is too much for him to take in one day. I know if he were leaving me to South Park I'd be pissed too.
I turn the corner to the stairs and out pops Kenny, straight from the communal restroom. "This place has showers like a locker room!" he cries, smiling widely. "Have fun getting naked with the dudes, Stan." He pats my back and pushes my shoulders back to the direction of the room.
I smirk back at him as we once again enter my new room. Kyle's hunched over on his bed mumbling something, but I can't quite make it out. It's only then that I realize he's on his phone.
"Count me in," he states. I strain my ears to eavesdrop more, but Kyle promptly shuts the phone and stands up.
"Who was that?" I ask curiously.
"None of your business, Stan," he replies sternly. His eyes narrow just a bit before widening again and a big smile envelopes his face. "Now, what's next?"
I can't help but to give Kyle and odd look. What was that momentary mood swing? He was acting like…Kenny, and yet not at all. Looking over at the blonde I see that he must be thinking the same thing. Kyle hardly ever snaps at me, and when he does it's never been because I've eavesdropped on a phone call. And now that I think about it, in the short time that I've been here he's already snapped at me about three times. Maybe I'm overreacting but I'm starting to think there's something up with Kyle.
"Well, look at the time," Kenny speaks up, peering down at his wrist that has a watch that stopped working a few weeks ago. "I better get going."
He stands up from my desk chair and smacks his hands together. "Stan, walk me out?"
I look into his eyes and see this pleading look. For the past three hours, Ken's been noticeably awkward about this whole situation. We finished unpacking my stuff about two and a half hours ago, and we had been watching TV and bullshitting ever since.
"Yeah, sure man," I say standing myself and glancing at Kyle. "I'll be right back."
He nods, understanding that it's better if he stays here. "You should come back next week Kenny," he says to him smiling softly.
"We'll see," he mutters in response. "Later Kyle," he finishes before walking out of the room with me close behind him. We tread through the hallways and back down the stairs together not saying a word. When we get to the front doors of Windermere we both wince at the storm that seems to be brewing. The rains picked up and it's starting to get considerably windier.
"Are you going to be okay in that?" I ask him, ready to offer he maybe spend the night until the whole storm blows over.
"I'll be fine, I have stuff to do tomorrow morning," he responds distantly as he watches the trees whip side to side.
"Yeah, but you can always do it when you get back," I suggest. That car of his might not make it.
He grins. "You sure you just don't want me to stay for you? I know how much you hate storms."
"Shut up," I joke, shoving him and smiling back. It's clear to me he really doesn't want to go, but he doesn't want to separate me from Kyle any longer. Plus I think Ky has been freaking him out with his strange behavior.
"Hm, well I think that's enough of the awkward, don't-know-what-to-say goodbyes don't you?" He raises an eyebrow at me smirking slightly.
"Hug time!" He announces and grabs a hold of me abruptly pulling me in for a tight, almost desperate hug. Ken pulls away before I can really hug him back, holding my shoulders as he looks me over. "I never thought I would say this but…you take care of Kyle…." Kenny glances briefly off in the direction of where Kyle and my dorm ought to be. "There's something off with him, and I don't like it."
I nod agreeing, as a little bit of worry starts to creep up my spine. "Be careful driving home," I say back to him.
"Yeah, yeah," he says letting go of my shoulders and we step outside the lobby, almost getting swept by the sudden rain. I stay under the ledge, still unable to stay dry, and watch Ken rush to his car.
As he steps into the driver's side and squeaks out of the parking lot, I lift my hand up and wave him goodbye. His car becomes smaller and smaller in the haze the further away he goes, until eventually, the rain swallows it up.
Turning back to the dorm, I practically sprint back inside to avoid the sudden downpour I see coming across the field. When I reach 333, my new home, I see Kyle sitting on the bed with a stiffened back and his hands placed gently on his knees. He is staring out the window to the rain. He says nothing as I enter the room, kick off my shoes, and collapse myself. He says nothing as I flip through my stack of architecture books and place them on the shelf next to my head. And he says nothing when I start twiddling my thumbs and clicking my tongue.
"Dude, what's up?" I finally ask, unable to contain myself any longer.
He doesn't seem to hear me and I watch as he brushes a hand over his lips, as if he's concentrating on something. I follow his gaze through the window, thinking maybe he's seeing something again like it seemed he did earlier. But when I scan my eyes over our view I don't see anything out of the ordinary.
"Kyle?" I question again.
"Ever notice how the rain silences the world around us?" he speaks clearly, and the only part of him moving is his lips. He continues to stare outside.
"Huh?" I reply intelligently. This mysterious side Ky is showing is making me uncomfortable.
"Life quiets down for it. Everything around just pauses and watches it fall. It's peaceful."
I pause, perplexed. I'm sure if he'd laugh if he could see the look on my face. "You're so full of shit, dude." I smile, awaiting his sarcasm.
And, much to my relief, it knocks him out of whatever funk he was in. I see his face brighten up, and he looks over to me. "Its good to have you here, man. I missed you."
My own smile forms, but I realize that it's unsure, "I missed you too."
He looks back toward the window but I'm relieved to see that he isn't getting lost in the rainfall again. "There's so much I want to show you on campus, and I can't wait to introduce to some of the guys, everyone's really laid back here, and the professors here are the best at what they do."
I nod, almost obediently. It isn't that I'm not excited at what Kyle's telling me. It's the exact opposite, I'm ecstatic to get my bearings down and become a real student at JV. It's just…I don't know. This nagging feeling that something isn't quite right about the way Kyle describes this place. I know it must be awesome, there's no way he would have even applied if it wasn't. My thoughts flash back to that guy I met on the stairway earlier. The student body president, and president of the High Honor Society.
"Will I get to properly meet that Miller guy?" I ask.
Kyle's head turns back to me, his face unreadable. "Yeah, you'll like him, he's a good guy. If there's anything I can't answer you about this school he can. He's captain of the baseball team too, and I told him you might want to play ball here."
But truth be told, I'm not that thankful because that guy, Miller, struck a cord in Kyle, and I'm not entirely sure if I like that.
To this, I see him roll his eyes. "Don't tell me you aren't going to at least try to play some kind of sport here, Stan."
"Huh?" I ask honestly confused.
"Mr. All-around Athlete doesn't think he can make it in the big time league?" Now he's just picking on me. This is much more normal. I bite back.
"Yeah JV is real big time," I joke. "We've got all of what...four buildings?"
"I'll have you know JV is very versatile when it comes to the selection of sports here, Stanley."
I growl at him. "You fucking call me Stanley again, I'll show you how versatile a foot up the ass can be." He chuckles, and that usual green light in his eyes shines through.
Kyle shifts positions on the bed and snuggles up with the pillow like he's ready for me to start story time. "You're gonna be so happy here, man. It's a good school."
It's starting to bother me that he keeps repeating that. I know it's a good school. So, instead I smile back at him. "I'm happy to be here with you."
- iBB and f G