Common Place

Disclaimer: I don't own South Park. I own several of the dvds.

They didn't see each other for a week after they got back. Stan went to Florida to look at colleges while he checked out the community colleges in Colorado. There were, admittedly, few of them.

"Stan's set on UWF," Kenny told him on Wednesday, after running into Stan and the Jew. Cartman could imagine Kyle trying to convince Stan to go to college in the north east.

"At least you'll be on the same coast. I might as well be on another planet," he muttered.

"….even though there aren't any real sports teams there so he'll have to play club sports which aren't half as challenging but the school's small and cheap, and it's likely that he'll get in, even with his grades as they were last year. Did you say something?"

Cartman blinked. "No. Of course not."

"Well anyway, Stan wants to go into Business so he said that the school happened to have an excellent program for that. He'll be happy there but I wish he'd stay in Colorado since I can't leave and I doubt you will."

"He's going into Business?" Cartman tried to imagine Stan in a suit and tie every day and couldn't.

Kenny nodded, "He wants to make more money than his family did so that he doesn't have to worry about debt and the money issues his family has faced. He wants to help me too, I think. He's hinted at it."

"That's Stan for you," Cartman stated with an eye roll, "Goddamn hippy."

Kenny grinned. "We absolutely need more people like Stan. He brought the four of us together, after all." Kenny waved goodbye then, walking towards Kyle's house to visit Stan and the Jew. Cartman watched from the road and decided he would wait until Brofloski relinquished his hold on Stan to see the pacifist again.

On Monday, Stan called him while he was attempting to complete his summer homework. "I didn't expect to hear from you so soon."

"Are you busy with something? I can call back later."

He saved the report and closed it. "Now I'm not."

"Kyle's mom kicked me out."


"And Kyle finally decided that he agrees with you about his mom. Why didn't you call me?"

"I've been busy," he lied.

"Not so busy that you couldn't talk with Kenny. Kyle caught the two of you and Kenny confirmed it."

"I should go. My summer homework's been piling up."

"Can't we at least hang out? Go to get something to eat or something?"

Cartman sighed, "Fine. Let me get dressed."

"I'll walk to your house. That'll at least give you ten minutes."

Cartman had not seen Stan for a month. Before this summer, the longest the group had ever lost Stan for was a week. It was why he was willing to run around Colorado for two weeks. Without Stan around, there was very little reason to hang out with the other losers he considered friends. He missed the Jew-loving hippy. And that was a surprise to him on its own.

Stan stood on his doorstep, looking as happy as possible when he opened the door. "If you're going to miss us so much, why don't you stay here?"

Stan looked quizzically at Cartman, before staring at his feet. "My mom has relatives there. And I have to get out of South Park if I want to live to see twenty. Remember that tarot card reading during our first day of High School?"

"I don't believe in tarot cards."

"That's just because yours said that you would fall in love with someone unexpected. Kyle and I had the same fortune so we're not taking any chances. Besides, my sister goes to college in Denver and there's no amount of money anyone could pay me to get me to enroll in her college. It's not safe."

They were standing on the bridge that crosses over Starks Pond. There was still snow on the ground even though it was July and 65 degrees and the fact that Denver had no snow on its ground. 'Welcome to South Park.' "Why are you planning on going to a school with no sports whatsoever?"

Cartman lost his edge when it was just he and Stan because it wasn't worth the energy. Stan didn't care if he was an asshole or not. It only mattered if the slur was to or about one of his friends or their families.

Stan looked down at his feet. "I learned my lesson from Freshman year in football where I spent the entire year on the bench. So I don't play sports anymore."

Cartman suddenly remembered prom. When Stan went as a girl so that Kyle would have a date to Junior Prom. Only the four of them knew and while Cartman wanted to rip on Stan, seeing him shut him up instantly. Stan, Cartman decided, would make a fantastic girl. That's when he first had these strange thoughts. "Well, I'd prefer you here, if only to keep the Jew on a leash."

"Cartman," he replied, looking straight into his eyes and unnerving him, "I don't believe you. Either way, I could use a flatmate and there is a nice Junior college nearby."

"Who says I'll want you to live with me by this time next year?"

"You missed me, didn't you?"

Cartman looked away. But this would be the first and last time they would ever be apart for a month. Cartman took Stan's hand and suddenly felt nothing towards the Jew. After all, he had Stan. Kyle didn't.