Rated T for Strong Language (not graphic sex scenes or anything; sorry but if you're looking for some crazy descriptive boy on boy action or something it's not gonna be here)
A/N: Slash. Yes, this story has it so if you're not comfortable with reading it then I don't really suggest this story for you. I've got this mostly planned out, it's gonna be about 4 chapters and uhh this is my first south park fanfic. So, that is quite fantastic I suppose. I'm actually not a Kenny/Tweek fan, Kenny just seems to like the boobies a little too much for me to see him as bisexual or gay. But for the sake of this story, he is bi. Also if anyone wants to give me detailed descriptions of how you actually play Halo...that would be awesome.
Disclaimer: Clearly I do not own South Park
Sometimes, Tweek told me once, he saw the world in terms of coffee.
It was raining when he did, and the power had gone out, which hadn't done anything to ease his paranoia. He'd almost bolted out the door when the electricity clicked off, and I was pretty sure the only thing keeping him here was my death-grip around him, and the reassurance that our coffeemaker would manage to keep a full pot hot for at least an hour more (there was no question of there actually being a full pot - I mean come on, it's Tweek). The TV stared back at us blankly, and I realized I couldn't even remember what we'd been watching. There was a shock of lightning, followed almost immediately by a long roll of thunder. Tweek sort of jolted, like a startled horse, and I pulled him closer to me, until there was so little space between us that I could tell he was twitching in time with my heartbeat. The rain increased, until it was pounding so hard and fast you couldn't even see out the windows, just a continuous fall of water. I felt like we were sinking, just me and Tweek in this big sucking ocean of rain.
"...mmmsounds like a coffee grinder..." he mumbled softly.
"What?" I asked, grinning.
"No, what?" I heard him mutter something, the only word I could catch being 'silly'. I craned my neck forwards, so that I could speak directly into his ear. "If you tell me," and he started a little, "I'll go out to Harbucks."
"Wha...in the rain!?"
"You could die! Hazardous driving conditions! Oh Jesus, man!"
"So tell me, then, or I will go out in the rain," I replied, figuring I had him cornered now.
"Rrrg!" exclaimed Tweek, pulling at his poorly buttoned his shirt. The funny thing about him was no one was sure what his voice really sounded like, since it was always so strained. We weren't sure if his voice had even cracked since most of the usual giveaways were a continuous part of his speech. "Just...just sometimes I see stuff and I think...coffee."
I laughed at first, but I felt him shudder deliberately inside my arms, so I stopped. "Like what?"
"You, nng, you won't laugh?" he asked, even though I just had. I squeezed him lightly in reply, and he seemed to take this as a 'no.' "Like...like when Cartman used to laugh and all the little wrinkles in his face looked like the ridges in whipped cream, and when Christophe's smoking he breathes it so the smoke comes out the same way like steam off an espresso and Clyde's hair is like the bits of ginger on top of a gingerbread latte and, and," he stopped, his breathing fast, "It's the metapors man, they're finally getting to me!"
"What about Kenny?" I asked dully, and felt his body tense.
"I never...Kenny never reminded...I don't know! Ehrg!"
I smiled to myself and leaned back into the couch, Tweek's body moving with me. There was another flash of lightning, followed almost immediately by a loud clap of thunder. Tweek gave a little jump, and I heard a muffled 'Oh Jesus!' as he burrowed into my shirt. I ruffled his already messy hair in an effort to calm him.
"What about me?" I asked.
"What about you?"
He laughed, "Oh yea, that."
"Hello...hello? Earth to Tweek?"
"AY! WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU!?"
Tweek jumped and fell off the cheap plastic seat he had been momentarily perched on before Cartman's sudden outburst, landing on the school cafeteria's floor, much to the amusement of his tablemates.
"Jesus, Cartman! You could've killed him!"
"Maybe if he wasn't so goddamn high-strung..."
"So? Don't start shouting your gigantic mouth off at him just cuz you're so freakin' impatient, fatass."
"Actually, Kyle, I would say I am the practical empathy of patience."
"Epitome, and the hell you are. Give me one example of when you've ever been patient about anything."
"Well, I've been waiting quite patiently awaiting the moment you turn around and betray us, you little Jew-backstabber."
The rest of the conversation was lost on Tweek as he looked up to see Kenny's face, grinning back down at him. "You alright?" he asked, offering a hand to Tweek.
"Ehg, yea, I'm okay," he replied, taking Kenny's hand in his own and allowing his...friend? to hoist him back to his seat. Across the cafeteria he could see thee boys sitting at the table in the corner - two of them were engaged in a fierce arm-wrestling match, the other was looking right at Tweek, who smiled back uneasily.
"Okay, so, now that you've returned from the lunch room floor," - Tweek turned his head to see a bemused Kenny talking to him - "what do you say?"
"Erm, say? About what?" He heard a 'for chrissake' from Cartman's direction, but Stan quickly started talking, possibly to keep Kyle from going after Eric again.
"We're thinking about throwing a party this weekend, but we're not sure which house. My parents will be gone this weekend, so mine would be good, but Kyle's house is way bigger."
"I told you we should just do mine!" interrupted Cartman.
"Who said you were invited, fatass?" asked Kyle smugly.
"Oh Jesus, this is too much pressure!" cried Tweek, reaching for his thermos. He felt a hand slide around his waist and looked towards Kenny, who was pulling him closer.
"We don't even have to go really," said Kenny, his comment unheard by the other three who were busy arguing again, "Not if you don't want to." The way he was looking at him clearly made up for Kenny's unspoken words; I don't need a party to have a good time.
"Augh! Oh Jesus!" Tweek looked out across the lunchroom, hoping to catch Craig's eye again, but he couldn't see him. He squirmed in his seat a little, wishing he was over there with his best friend and they could laugh at Clyde whenever he swelled up at the sight of a cheerleader, and they could listen to Token talk about the latest high-tech appliance his family had invested in. Tweek wasn't particularly good friends with Stan, Kyle and Cartman, and as for Kenny...
Honestly, Tweek wasn't even sure what he and Kenny were. After Tweek had exploded at his own lunch table, shouting "I'M GAY" and promptly passing out afterwards at the beginning of junior year, Kenny had come up to him and asked him if he wanted to 'hang out.' They'd never really established themselves as a couple, really, and most of their 'hanging out' was done at school or one of their houses, so sometimes Tweek wondered, where did that leave them? Dating? Ish?
"Hah, you're pretty fuckin' cute when you're spazzing out," laughed Kenny, giving Tweek a small kiss on the forehead, which prompted a crude vomiting-pantomime from Cartman. "You free tonight?"
"Um, erg, Craig and Clyde and Token, we were uh gonna go play videogames or something at Craig's."
Kenny shrugged, "Think you can blow them off?"
"Ehn! I dunno! I think they're kinda pissed how I haven't hung with them in a while."
"What can I say dude, we just can't get enough of you," replied Kenny, the lopsided grin on his face sending a shiver down Tweek's spine.
"Well, I can ask, but it's your fault if Craig kills me!" exclaimed Tweek, taking a gulp of coffee and letting out a small sigh of relief.
"Fair enough," said a smirking Kenny, turning back to his three friends just in time to see Cartman "accidentally" drop his milk carton in Kyle's lap.
"Dude, no, are you serious?" whined Clyde by the flagpole after school, "I finally convinced Craig and Token to play balderdash tonight, but you can't play with only three people!"
"Uhm, I'm sorry?" replied Tweek nervously, "What the hell is balderdash?"
"Some lameass board game he's been trying to get us to play since forever," replied Token, rolling his eyes, "Sucks you can't chill tonight, but at least we don't have to play that..."
"Goddammit it is a good game!"
"It's like, vocabulary and shit, right?"
"What? What's goin' on involving vocabulary and shit?" The three boys looked up to see Craig walking towards them, shoving some flyaway papers back into his backpack before slinging it over his shoulders.
"Nothing, actually, since Tweek is busy with his boyfriend again," replied Clyde, ignoring the small comment of 'he's not my boyfriend...' from the side.
"Huh?" said Craig, turning towards Tweek, "What are you, Kenny's bitch?"
"Arg! Pressure!" Craig sighed, watching as Tweek reached for the thermos he had propped against his feet and took a huge gulp of coffee, his cheeks flush as he lowered the drink, "I'm sorry, but he..."
"What, gives good blowjobs?" snorted Token.
"AUGH JESUS CHRIST MAN!" cried Tweek, taking another gulp of coffee, oblivious to Clyde's laughter. Hands shaking, he replaced the lid on his thermos, "We're, we're not like that."
"I'm just fucking with you man," replied Token, grinning.
"So's Kenny!" quipped Clyde, prompting another outburst from Tweek.
"Dude, shut up, you're going to give him a heart attack," said Craig, his intention
compromised by the smile on his face. "Seriously though...when -"
Craig turned to see who had cut him off, his three friends following suit to see Kenny sauntering over towards them, hands hidden in the pockets of his faded and torn jeans, an innocent smile sketched across his face. He had already figured Tweek's friends weren't going to be too pleased about their friend's new plans, and Kenny wasn't really in the mood to worsen his relations with anyone that day, particularly Craig, who had a grudge-holding habit.
"Hey man," replied Craig evenly, sizing up Kenny with a brief flick of his eyes, an action not lost on the newcomer, "What's up?"
"Nothing really, got held up in the hallway - someone was beating the crap outta Pip so there was like a hallway-traffic jam."
"What else is new," said Clyde, leaning against the flagpole.
"Yea," replied Kenny absently, turning towards Tweek, "You ready?"
Tweek nodded his head, the action hardly distinguishable from his regular shaking. He replaced his bag over his shoulder and hugged his thermos to his side as he moved off with Kenny, the two beginning to walk off in the direction of the lesser-used roads of South Park which led to the direction of Kenny's house.
"Bye guys!" called Tweek, turning his head over his shoulder to see Craig looking surly and Clyde giving him a brief wave back, Token busy on his cellphone.
"Did you have history today?" Kenny asked, prompting Tweek to turn back to him as they continued walking, the sounds of school receding behind them, "Dude, we have to write a play. And perform it. About the differences between class types or something of medieval Europe. I mean, what the hell man, when did I sign up for drama, huh? I hate when they make us do this bullshit - like having us dress up like medieval dorks for a day is gonna make the class 'fun' and interesting or something. Think the most interesting thing that could happen would be if Mrs. Porter just like died at the front of the class or something," ranted Kenny, referring to their history teacher at the end.
"Die? Like spontaneous combustion?" asked Tweek, taking a sip of coffee.
Kenny thought for a second, "Accidental suicide. She'd bore herself to death."
Tweek laughed, taking the hand he could feel searching for his own as the continued to walk on, Tweek mostly nodding and sipping and shaking, as he was prone to do, while Kenny carried on. Once Kenny had shed his orange parka in 6th grade, mostly everyone (excluding Stan, Kyle and Cartman of course) was surprised to find he actually had quite a mouth on him, something that Tweek honestly appreciated about him. It left him able to relax and listen to Kenny carry on a conversation without having to worry too much about needing to respond. Less pressure - even the most mundane things seemed to cause Tweek unnecessary stress, from homework to cleaning dishes to just talking with his sort-of-almost-boyfriend-but-not-really.
It wasn't a fairly long walk, just across the train tracks 'til you reached the faded green house with the paint-chipped door. Kenny's home always reminded Tweek vaguely of a game he used to play when they were younger - "jenga." Basically it consisted of stacking up a bunch of rectangular blocks of wood until you had a small tower, and then you had to take turns pulling out the pieces. Whoever pulled out the piece that made the tower collapse lost.
Kenny's house made Tweek think of what the tower looked like the moment before the key piece was removed - dangerously precarious, threatening to collapse at any moment.
He followed Kenny to the front, the latter of which pushed open the door and proceeded inside. The lock had rusted over long ago, and even if it did work, what was the point, Kenny would say. It wasn't as if the house offered anything good to steal.
"Welcome to the McCormick's, the classiest dump this side of South Park!" exclaimed Kenny, kicking off his boots, "Where you can enjoy today's latest entertainments such as TV boxing, or sample the finest of American Cuisine in Wall-Mart's newest brand of frozen waffles!"
"TV Boxing?" asked an amused Tweek as he followed Kenny into the kitchen
"Yea, it's when you get so mad at our TV's shitty picture you just get up and start punching the hell out of it," replied Kenny, standing on his toes to reach the top of shelf of one of the upper cabinets. At 5"9 it wasn't as if Kenny really had to reach. Better than Tweek, at least, who was just making 5"4 thanks to a consistent diet of coffee and little else. He got most of his calcium intake from the steamed milk in espressos.
"Hah, well, you should know," replied Kenny, who was scrambling on the counters now so he could be on eye-level with the cabinet he had been reaching into before, "You were the one who boxed Craig or something in 3rd grade right?"
"Jesus, careful man! What if you slip and die and squash me?"
Kenny, now fully standing on the kitchen counter, was reaching his arm as far back into the cabinet as was possible. "Dude relax, I would never accidentally kill you."
"Well, that's a relief."
"You hungry?" asked Kenny, already knowing the answer.
"I'm fine, thanks," replied Tweek, his right eye blinking rapidly.
"'Kay. Scoot over a bit if you don't want to get squashed."
Tweek shuffled off to the side a little, and Kenny jumped off the counter, two packets of poptarts in his left hand. Tweek thought he felt the whole house move a little as Kenny hit the ground, before he began shoving poptarts into the battered toaster kept tucked in the corner.
"So what's up with you?" asked Kenny, moving onto the living room. Their toaster was so bad it'd take it around five or so minutes before the poptarts would finally be suitably warm, and he didn't feel like standing around in the kitchen until then.
"Erm, my mom wants a canary and my dad got this new coffee from some guy in Idaho," started Tweek, scratching his head as he moved to sit on the room's torn up couch, Kenny following suit, "It's...it's totally gross! It all tastes like potatoes! I mean, Jesus Christ! Potato coffee!?"
"Blasphemy," nodded Kenny, moving closer towards Tweek.
"My dad -gck!- my dad says it's good to, to promote local business or something but Idaho's a whole freakin' other state! How the hell is supporting potato coffee any good? It's the most sick, twisted thing I've ever -erg!- tasted!"
"Heh, relax." Tweek jumped a little, he hadn't quite realized how close Kenny had come, "Potatoes aren't that bad. You have pumpkin coffee stuff don't you?"
"Wha, what? We don't-"
Tweek wasn't given a chance to fully explain what it was "they" didn't do, because Kenny's mouth was sort of preventing his own from anymore talking. He made a little noise of surprise, which Kenny was obviously ignoring, as could be interpreted by the fact that Tweek was finding himself pushed down on the couch. Kenny broke away for a second, grinning down at the teen pinned beneath him. Tweek was twitching uncontrollably, looking supremely awkward and uncomfortable.
"Er, uh, Kenny."
"Yea?" asked Kenny, lowering his head until his forehead was just lightly touching Tweek's.
"This, er - nng!" Tweek found his protestations cut short again by Kenny. His eyes widened as he felt Kenny's hands moving under his poorly-buttoned shirt, and the over-caffeinated teen started shaking so badly he sent his head knocking into Kenny's.
"Ow!" exclaimed Kenny, sitting up sharply and rubbing his head, "Relax, dude."
"Aughck! Jesus Christ, man, I can't - agh!" Tweek was struggling to raise himself, still twitching more violently than usual. Kenny reached forwards, spreading his hand out on Tweek's chest in an effort to get him to lie back, "No, Kenny! Oh Jesus, do I freakin' look like -ah!- I want to get raped today or something?"
"For fuck's sake, man, you never want to do anything."
"Well that's the difference," snapped Tweek, rolling off the couch and grabbing his thermos as he did so, "between a whore and...and...!" And what, he thought as he rose to his feet again, your boyfriend? Your friend? "Augh...whatever, s-see you tomorrow."
Kenny didn't move as he watched the shaky boy twitch and stumble his way out his house, oblivious to the small ding! in the background signaling that his poptarts were ready.
Tweek let his feet do the walking, his hands and mind wrapped around the coffee he was currently drinking as if his life depended on it. His brain seemed to relax and go blank as he tilted the thermos upwards, allowing a clear path for the dark liquid through his mouth and down his throat, the warmth spreading quickly throughout his body. He let out a shaky "aah" of appreciation and raised the thermos again, only to find that it was empty. A small wave of panic overtook him, and he paused in his walk, his head spinning with what had just happened. He turned, hesitant... Maybe, he thought, I should go back, just say I'm sorry I mean it's not like...like Kenny deals with people like me all the time, I guess, right? He stood standing there, torn by the thought about going back to Kenny, while also feeling the need to keep going and meanwhile his thermos was empty empty SO EMPTY.
Coffee won out in the end. I'll just see him tomorrow, thought Tweek, moving hurriedly over the train tracks, still clutching his thermos to his chest as if it were cast from gold. The McCormick's house lacked a coffee machine and really, as he kept walking further away from it, Tweek realized just how little he desired to go back in there and see Kenny at that moment. When he'd walked out, he'd been feeling pretty good. After all, "confidence" and "Tweek Tweak" were two terms hardly associated with each other. Now, though, as a light flurry of snow started in, he was beginning to doubt himself. I overreacted, he thought, jerking the collar of his shirt while longing for the warmth provided by his favorite drink, I shouldn't've...
He stopped when he found that his feet had made a left turn a few streets back, leading him not to the Tweak residence, but the familiar house of his best friend, Craig. Tweek stood nervously outside. The house was dark but for one window that he knew opened into the living room, the view of which was mostly blocked by the large TV propped against it. Muffled shouts and exclamations managed to drift their way outside, to where Tweek stood in the silent cold, body twitching as he contemplated going inside.
His obnoxiously loud cellphone ring distracted him, though, as the tinny notes played out a shortened, bastardized version of Beethoven's Fifth, prompting a mini-freak out from Tweek as he struggled to retrieve the cellphone from his pocket. In the struggle to obtain his phone, his metal thermos slipped from his grip, hitting the ground sharply and beginning to roll noisily towards the street, which only caused Tweek more exasperation as he forgot about the ringing phone to go after his thermos.
Oh Jesus, oh Jesus not the street!
Lunging forwards, Tweek managed to grab the container just before it entered the road, though in his hasty move his phone managed to fly from his pocket and crash into sidewalk.
"Augh!" he cried, kneeling on the ground to collect the pieces of what once was his cellphone.
"Tweek." He stopped, pausing in his mad scramble to look up and see Craig, staring back down at him with a bemused expression. "Need some help?"
"Ah, um, I think it's too late," replied Tweek, glancing at the cracked screen he was
holding in his hand.
"Alas, poor phone," smirked Craig, kneeling to Tweek's level, "It will be missed."
Tweek laughed his shaky laugh- the phone in question had been a clunky, three-year old model that had been the butt-end of many Craig's jokes at lunch. His laughter died away though as he realized what he would have to tell his parents. Craig noticed the sudden change in his friend.
"Maybe your parents will get you a new one, huh? Something more recent, like, from the stone age," he grinned, before grabbing Tweek beneath his arms and hoisting him up to his feet. Not much of a challenge, considering Tweek's pathetic weight. "What're you doing here?"
"Just admiring your house, of course," replied Tweek, grinning, "You know how I love to come here and stare into your windows in negative temperatures."
"Hah!" laughed Craig, "Seriously though, it's fuckin' freezing out here. C'mon, Token's inside, we're playing Halo."
"Oh Jesus," muttered Tweek, letting Craig pull him inside, "Where's Clyde?"
"He's out getting pizza," replied Craig as they entered his house, and it was then Tweek noticed his friend hadn't even been wearing shoes. He was peeling off his socks, now soaked from the snow, "He kept bitching about how he wanted to play wii tennis and then he started saying that he could 'own' us all in it. So Token bet him that he could beat him and then we had a wii tennis match to see who would have to go out and get pizza." Craig was moving towards the kitchen now, Tweek behind him. "And Clyde lost. Big shocker."
"Hey Craig, what's the deal?" came Token's voice from the living room.
"Just Tweek," yelled Craig in reply, extending a hand towards Tweek. The shaking boy looked back, confused, until Craig gestured to his thermos. Finally comprehending, Tweek handed over the container to him, and watched as Craig began to fill it from the full pot of coffee he had resting on the counter.
"You made coffee?" asked Tweek, accepting his thermos gratefully. Craig hated coffee, and last he checked, Token and Clyde generally preferred soda and beer over Tweek's favorite drink.
"My dad came and made some before he left," replied Craig after a moment's hesitation, referring to the infrequent visits his family would sometimes take to Denver to visit his sick grandma. He usually managed to talk his way out of having to go on them, though sometimes this came with the price of having to watch his sister on the occasion when she put up enough of a fight to stay, too.
"Oh. Cool." With twitching hands, he raised the thermos to his lips and took deep, shaking gulps, sighing deeply.
"Well now that you've got your fix," snorted Craig, retreating back to the living room, waving for Tweek to follow. Token was stretched out on the couch, video game controller in hand as he focused on the game set up in front of him.
"Oh, hey Tweek," he said, gaze turning from the screen to greet his friend, "What's up?"
"Ehn, not much," he replied, taking his usual seat on the floor at the foot of the couch, while Craig returned to his sprawled out position on the chair to the side, picking up his own controller
"You want to play?" asked Craig, turning towards Tweek while gesturing to the mess of controllers and wires at the base of the TV.
"No thanks," he replied, feeling content to watch Token and Craig take turns blasting aliens. For a while computerized gun blasts and Craig and Token's swearing filled the room, until Clyde walked in later, bearing pizza and complaints about how cold it was, how far the drive was, how lonely it was, how -
"Shut up Clyde," ordered Craig, flipping him off while reaching for a slice of pizza.
"Dude, Tweek? I thought you were busy! Man I coulda brought-"
"I swear to God Clyde, I will kill you if you mention your gayass game one more time," threatened Craig, cutting him off.
"Yea, whatever," he muttered in reply, grabbing a slice and nudging Token's feet off the couch to make room for him, "Guess who I saw at the pizza place?"
"Who?" supplied Token.
"Mr. Garrison, man!"
"Hahaha, no shit? That's creepy."
"I know! And then when I was paying for the pizza he was like 'watch carefully Clyde because that's gonna be you in a few years.'"
"Yea right, you'll probably be some creepy manwhore living in a box."
"Yea!? Well you're...eh…stupid."
"Oh, zing! Good one, Clyde."
"Shut up Token."
"Oh! Another killer! Where do you come up with this stuff?"
"That's the best one yet."
Tweek sighed, leaning back into the pillow he'd swiped from the couch as he let the familiar conversation wash over him, erasing the day's previous events. The rest of the night followed in mostly the same pattern of video-gaming and cursing, with Clyde now added to the mix. At some point, he asked Tweek if he would get him a soda, since everyone else was busy playing, and of course Tweek obliged. It was when he had just grabbed a Dr. Pepper from the refrigerator, though, that he was taken by one of his frequent spasms, forcing him to drop the soda can, which cracked open and started spraying all over the place. At the sound of Tweek's sudden shouts, Craig, Clyde and Token all came rushing in to see if anyone had been murdered, only to find their friend dancing around the kitchen floor to avoid the innocent-soda-can-turned-sugary-projectile. It was enough to send Clyde into hysterics, and even prompt at least half of that rare, genuine sort of smile from Craig. The remainder of the evening passed with notably less excitement and, far sooner than he would have preferred, Tweek found himself returned to the quiet house where his mother and father were already sleeping, while he resigned himself to another slumberless night on the bed that hardly had a use.
Tweek loved coffee. Possibly love was not even a strong enough word to describe the way he seemed to yearn after, need the hot drink to get through every day - this much was obvious by his ever-present thermos. Still, there were times when Tweek resented his apparent addiction.
Specifically, during first period biology. It was during the morning classes when teachers were faced with the greatest challenge, of keeping their students fully awake, something the biology teacher seemed to fail dismally at, not that he really appeared to care. All around the room, chins were knelt against chests, faces were pressed against desks, and foreheads were boring into crossed arms, all with closed eyes. Few students were made the exception to this plague of sleep that seemed to seep throughout the room and, unsurprisingly, Tweek was amongst them. He loved the way the coffee traveled through him, burning the back of his throat and tongue and then infecting him with its warmth and energy. At the same time, though, there was no other class that made him regret his constantly, wakeful state more. With the ever-present liquid flowing through him, pumping caffeine in him day in and day out, it made him impossible to give in to a drowsy feeling that he never even knew, and that morning, there was nothing more he wanted to do then fold his arms on his desk, burrow into them, and fall asleep. He had even attempted it already, but he'd hardly lowered his head then it had snapped up again, his entire body shaking. He had nothing to distract him from total awakeness - or rather, he had everything to distract him, but nothing he could focus on. Every second seemed to stretch to minutes and hours for the vibrating teen, the teacher's words blending into the background until they became the beating, pulsing heart of the class that didn't seem to die. To his right, Craig was slumped over his desk, his hat slowly sliding off the back of his head. Tweek stared, watching the hat as it kept up its slow crawl, revealing more and more of Craig's unkempt black hair until it tiled too far to the left and, in one final motion, slipped off and fell to the floor. The loss went unnoticed by Craig, whose closed eyes and soft snoring left no question as to where his mind was, which was to say, clearly not in the class room. For a few seconds, Tweek watched the small sway of hair suspended over Craig's mouth, as it moved back and forth in time with his breathing, similar to a pendulum.
The beating seemed to stop. Tweek looked up, left eye twitching, searching to see what had caused the teacher to cease his speech.
"Ah," he said, his voice already dry from lecturing, "Nice of you to join us, Mr. McCormick."
Kenny, as always, had arrived noticeably late to class. He gave the teacher a sort of lazy salute, who turned back to his listless students, leaving Kenny free to saunter over to his seat. Tweek reached for his thermos so that he was busy in what appeared to be an attempt to drown his lungs in coffee as Kenny took his seat to the left of Tweek, just as he began coughing, choking on the coffee he'd downed too quickly. Craig woke with a start, mumbling absently 'where's my hat..?' and flipping off no one in particular, before turning to realize it was his friend's hacking that had risen him from his sleep. He hardly had time to react before Kenny was there, patting Tweek's back in an effort to quell his choking. Over his loud coughing, Tweek heard Craig mutter something indecipherable before leaning down to retrieve his hat and resume his former position, sprawled across the table with his hat covering his eyes.
"There – you okay now?"
Tweek gave one final cough before turning to answer Kenny, who was now retrieving his binder from his backpack in an effort to at least give the impression that he was paying attention.
"Hey, didn't I tell you I'd make sure you didn't get killed?"
" Yea but it was more like, you were gonna make sure you didn't kill me."
"Same difference," shrugged Kenny, smiling. A brief silence between them, and it was clear they were both thinking the same thing.
"I'm...sorry," said Kenny, focused on the pencil carvings etched upon his desk. "About yesterday," he added, "I didn't mean to freak you out."
"It's, it's okay," replied Tweek, making an attempt to smile, "I'm sorry, too. I shouldn't've just left like that."
"Where'd you go anyway? I tried your cellphone but no one picked up, and your mom said you weren't there when I called your house."
"Oh, er, my cellphone broke, and I went to Craig's."
Kenny raised an eyebrow, "Yea? Figures...look, you want to hang out today? I mean, just hang out..."
"I'm, ah, going to Craig's after school," lied Tweek, and he thought he could see Craig move a little in the corner of his eye, while Kenny's face seemed to darken.
"But I could probably leave early?" he added, fingers rapidly tapping the surface of his thermos, as he extended his faltering smile.
Kenny grinned, "Nice," and turned back to face the front of the room, before he remembered it was biology and that he couldn't care less, deciding instead to join the rest of the sleeping class, leaving Tweek alone to fight off the unfailing boredom.