No Grave is Rich

Disclaimer: I've never owned South Park

A/N: The title is taken from a poem called "At a War Grave" by John Jarmain. Also: in this story, the boys are eight in the year 2008 and when the story takes place (2021) they are (obviously) twenty-one. Also, there are several tributes to other works of fiction such as names, locations, etc. etc. If you find them, let me know! Please forgive any spelling errors. Comments are appreciated.

Summary: Kyle isn't a good soldier. CartmanKyle. Implied StanKyle. Ambiguous consent. Written for Foodstamp's South Park fanfiction contest.

Prompt: The boys i mean are not refined

"Of course, its done him worlds of good", they said,
"He's twice the man he was - a puny chap
he used to be, if you remember - always at books and that,
but since he joined
he's broadened out. They've made a man of him;
You wouldn't know now".

Deep-sunk in rain-soaked ditch, with weeds and filth
stopping his mouth, the soldier lies;
swollen and black, his face turns to the skies
in blank, unquestioning stare, his body, tight
and big as flood-drowned pig, lurches and sways,
to wind and water. Yes, he's broadened out -
he's twice the man he was; a pity, though,
his life should run, like bright oil down a gutter,
to implement some politician's brag.

His world went out
through that neat hole in temple, quickly and easily
as words from windy mouths. And loves unknown,
and skies unseen, and books unread,
forever lost, he's dead.

You wouldn't know him now.

--FA Horn

Begin Encoded Transmission:

To: Commander Surrow M. Hilstow
From: Brigadier General Eric T. Cartman
Subject: Plan A

Data retrieved by plant 5G37i on May 27, 2021, time: 21:35 verifies that subject will be in position as indicated. Plan A6 moving ahead as scheduled.

End Encoded Transmission.

Begin Decoding.

"Are you sure this is safe?" Kyle asks, struggling to support the weight of the limping girl between Stan and him. They are creeping along the edge of a beach, dark water nipping at their frostbitten legs and sand slipping and sliding underneath their worn boots.

Kyle doesn't like this.

Stan grunts. "No one'll be on the beach. It's too open. They'll think that we stuck to the forest. Besides Bebe needs medical attention. Fast" Stan picks up the speed and grudgingly Kyle moves his feet quicker so that Bebe won't stumble.

The central base is over twenty miles away; Kyle knows this. He also knows that they can't get Bebe to a proper surgeon before the bullet in her stomach causes her to bleed to death. Kyle is a medical resident back at the base. But that's only when he's not out in the field with Stan. His experience is limited, but he knows enough to understand when someone's not going to make it. He trudges along though and so does Stan.

They know they have to try.

Kyle has almost fallen into a dream-like slumber when it happens. His eyes flash open like hardened diamonds and he leaps forwards, leaving Bebe and Stan to stumble haphazardly in his wake. His glasses-trimmed eyes grab on to the hurled black ball falling towards them, only noticed because of a glint of moonlight, and he leaps into the air, catching it and throwing it to the side in one smooth move.

It explodes less than ten feet away from him and the rush of hot air and gases toss his air-borne figure to the ground with a sickening thump. The explosion has temporarily deafened him and his glasses have fallen off somewhere in the sand. He lifts himself halfway up to feel for them, but Stan – always prepared, always saving his ass – tosses him back to the ground with a well-timed tackle. As Stan presses Kyle's body into the sand, bullets spray the air above him. He hears a low moan and hopes – no, he doesn't; NO, HE DOESN"T – that Bebe's been hit to spare them the trouble.

Stan's hard.

Kyle notes this distantly, still disconnected from pain and hearing and the bullets raining down less than an inch from Kyle sneaker. The one with the hole in it, Kyle thinks wildly, that one can't be hit; it has no protection. He curls his leg inwards just as Stan jumps into a low crouch and half-drags Kyle – who, to his credit, does try to get his feet under him. Stan is just too fast and efficient for him – to some undergrowth where, to Kyle's surprise, Stan has already stashed Bebe.

Bebe is coolly loading up her semiautomatic, rounds clinking in one by one. As she brings up the gun to rest in the crook of her shoulder, Kyle notices that her fingers are white and shaking hard. A strand of blond hair falls across her eyes and she flicks it back, running a bloody streak through mud-dried scalp. Moving quickly, she starts picking off enemy combatants.

The first goes down with a low scream. Not a clean shot, Kyle thinks and numbly grabs the gun Stan hands him. Stan's brow is furrowed and he's obviously thinking furiously. Kyle clicks off the safety and waits for Stan's instructions. Bebe shoots again and they hear a dull thud. She is shaking.

Kyle misses his glasses. Everything is a blurry mess around him and this was supposed to be an easy mission. Class D. Just rendezvous with the informant; collect the encrypted data he had stolen from NERV; and get it back to the Alliance safely. Somehow, they had been ambushed and only he, Stan, and Bebe managed to get out of the ensuing battle alive. The ambush team seemed to be determined to retrieve the data – they had followed them for the last ten miles, intermittently shooting at them.

Stan finally speaks: "Kyle and take the information and go. Bebe and I will watch your back."

Bebe's lips purse and for an instant Kyle wonders how much Bebe hates him. How many times has Bebe wanted to kill him because Stan always – always – puts his best friend before everything – the mission, his comrades, and now her life?

Then Kyle forgets about her because he is silently panicking – he doesn't want to die alone – and finally he manages to shake his head. "No…I…I think that-" What is he doing? "You're the faster runner." He finally gets out. "And you're the captain of this mission. I'm just the field doctor. It's your responsibility to get the information back to camp. Go. Bebe and I'll hold them off and meet up with you later."

Stan looks at him fiercely and shakes his head. "Kyle-" he starts.

"This isn't about us." Kyle hisses, low under his breath so that Bebe won't hear. "You…you can't always protect me. It's your job to get that information back to camp. You know that you stand a better chance alone out there than I do. Go." Kyle says the last bit forcefully and tries not to throw himself on Stan and beg him for to save him and not let him die – please, please, please, he doesn't want to die. Dear fucking god, he doesn't want to die. Kyle forces a smile. "Go. You need to go. We'll be alright."

Stan suddenly clasps his hand. "Yeah," he rasps, "I'll see you back at camp." He leans in and Kyle catches his breath. For a moment, he thinks Stan is going to kiss him, but then he pulls and away and begins to crawl through the undergrowth towards the heavily protected forest.

"Good man, Broflovski," Bebe grunts between shots and Kyle brings up his gun to join her.

There almost isn't a point anymore. Slugs are spraying the ground around them and Kyle can hear the troops drawing nearer, the steady stream of bullets protecting them from Kyle and Bebe's pitiful weapons. They can't even lift their heads above the rotting tree trunk they're huddled against to aim.

Kyle looks at Bebe again. He has never thought her beautiful for all that people had thought that they were together in elementary school, but she has a sort of strange glow of calmness around her tonight and it's the most beautiful thing Kyle's ever seen. The cynical part of Kyle's brain tells him that she's bleeding to death, but perhaps that's not it. Perhaps this is the only angel Kyle will ever get.

Then something white-hot tugs the air in front of him and Bebe throws herself into its path. She falls to the ground with a thump. Kyle manages to touch her rapidly cooling body once as several bullets finally – finally – slam into him and thinks: there wasn't a glow after all.

Kyle is somewhere between consciousness and sleep. There is a blurry blob of green and brown to his left and after a while Kyle begins to think it is part of the white room and relaxes his pain filled body. Then the blob shifts, shocking Kyle and throwing him into full awareness.

He awakens with a gasp. His arm reaches out in an involuntary motion to ward away danger. It is caught by a roughly calloused hand and he is shushed to silence.

"Stan," he croaks.

"No Kyle," the voice – so familiar, who is it? – whispers comfortingly. "Stan's not here. Don't worry; I'm here."

Kyle struggles to open his eyes once more, but the hand brushes down the side of his face and he closes his eyes. His mother used to do that. Kyle fights back tears and listens when the voice tells him to go back to sleep and that everything's okay.

Kyle's last thought before falling back into darkness is that he's safe.

When Kyle wakes again, he can see clearly. He's in a medical room. But it's not one that he's ever been in before – definitely not the one back at the base. He can hear soft moans coming from his left and right, but when he tries to twist around to help them – doctor's instincts – he is suddenly reminded of his own injuries and lets out a heartfelt moan of his own.

"You're not supposed to rush things,"

Kyle looks up and with a flash remembers his last awakening. He tries to lift up from the bed; walk forward; and punch the other man in the nose, but all he manages is a grunted out: "YOU!"

Cartman grins at him, brushing invisible lint off his green NERV uniform and leans cockily against Kyle's medical cot. He's asserting his authority, Kyle brain informs him bitterly; he knows that you can't do anything.

"How are you feeling?" Cartman asks, "You were pretty badly injured when my team picked you up. NERV has the best doctors though. I wouldn't be surprised if you were up and about within the next few weeks."

Kyle tries to snarl at him. "Don't – don't patronize me!" Kyle shouts. Or at least, that's how it starts in his brain. By the time the message has traveled down several thousand pain-sodden neurons it is considerably garbled. The cerebral Chinese Whisper reaches his mouth as a sad little moan that sounds like 'Down parry knee,' but not so much as it sounds like the product of a severely faulty digestion.

Cartman laughs at him. "Go back to sleep." he says, or rather, orders. "You're exhausted."

Kyle, however, has no plans of following any of Cartman's orders. He manages to lift himself to his elbows, obviously struggling and turning whiter by the second. With a sigh, Cartman leans forward and helps him sit up, ignoring Kyle's angry protests.

"Why," Kyle asks when he finally gets his breath back, "am I still alive."

Cartman shrugged. "I asked for them not to kill you. You're a doctor yourself now, aren't you?" He doesn't bother waiting for a reply. "Well then you can work in the prisoner medical tent. They're short-handed anyway."

Kyle is sputtering. "You asked-" he rasps. "What the fuck!"

Suddenly Cartman is in his face. "And what makes you think that you're so important, Kyle?" he sneers. "Stan's one of the best young military leaders on the Alliance's side; Kenny's leading the guerilla warfare down near Mexico; even Bebe got a clean shot as respect for her abilities. Why the fuck should NERV give a damn about a little Jewish doctor? You're a dime a fucking dozen, Broflovski. You deserve nothing better than the camps. WHAT DID YOU DO?" Cartman slaps him sharply across the face and Kyle falls back onto the cot limp with shock.

Cartman looms above him and for a horrified instant Kyle thinks that Cartman is going to continue hitting him. And he can't even find it in himself to move, to do something, to at least try to stop him. Then the moment passes and Cartman is back to his grinning self. He pats Kyle's red hair with apparent fondness and draws the thin blanket back up over his waist.

Then suddenly he yanks Kyle up by his hospital issued pajamas. Kyle cries out in pain. "Don't piss me off okay," he says pleasantly. "I don't want to have to hurt you."

Kyle nods minutely, terrified and in pain and Cartman lets him go with a thump.

Cartman clumps out of the room a few minutes later and Kyle finally relaxes, feeling his muscles unclenching painfully with every step Cartman takes. When he's finally gone, Kyle sighs with relief and rolls over to his back, trying to situate himself in a more comfortable position.

He is shivering. He has forgotten how temperamental Cartman can be. Even when they were all together – he, Stan, Kenny, and Cartman – all young and idealistic, all ready to put a hurt on NERV for destroying the only home they'd ever known, Cartman was…maniacal at best.

He had never really passed the emotional age of eight. Sure he had gotten taller, and grown into his pudginess but inside he was still that same little boy whose sweetness and cruelness came from the same heavy hand. He had kept up his litany of racist, sexist, and crude remarks all through training and even through missions, but while Kyle had never been anything special (And he knew that, even accepted it. Stan, Kenny, and Cartman were good at the business of war. Kyle wasn't. Period. He accepted it), Cartman had been one of the up and comers in the Alliance. He would have been a commander if he had stuck with it. Hell, he had even saved Kyle's life more than once.

It had come as a complete surprise when he defected.


Kyle sighs into his pillow again and presses his face into it, hoping for sleep. It's the only place left that he still has friends.

Less than a week later, Kyle starts working at the prisoner's clinic.

He's…busy actually. The adult prisoners are busy building airplanes and bombs and rockets for NERV and since the job is labor intensive, Kyle gets a lot of visitors during the day. And when Cartman said "shorthanded", he really means that he's the only one working there.

So Kyle doesn't have much time to do anything other than work really. It takes all of his effort to keep the place disinfected; take care of everyday injuries; and try to save the ones with life-threatening illnesses. He wakes up at four with the rest of the prisoners and sleeps at eight after a paltry dinner of bread and soup. He hasn't even learned his bunkmates' names.

One of his patients, the first one that died during the night (the one time Kyle isn't allowed in the clinic), tells him that it's better that way. There are selections every Saturday and at least ten people if not more buy a ticket. Kyle doesn't understand what this means until his first Saturday. They are woken up an hour earlier and brought to the parade ground of the camp to stand in lines. Kyle is shoved in among the rest.

As they stand there in threadbare pajamas, shivering in the wind, NERV officials walk slowly by them. Every so often, they point at someone and he's removed from the line, sometimes screaming and moaning. Kyle begins to get a bad feeling about this. Cartman passes him and it is the first time that he's seen him since that day in the hospital. He reaches out and tweaks Kyle's red hair but makes no other move.

Finally the selected – about twenty – are led against a wall.

And shot.

Kyle sways in surprise and then revulsion. The man on his left holds him up for a moment, whispering for him to be strong. He has never seen such systematic violence before and the shock of it sends all the blood to his stomach like a stone. For a moment he fears he's going to throw up or piss his pants.

And Cartman is laughing.

He's fucking looking right at him and laughing. Sudden anger fills Kyle's body and he almost leaps at Cartman. Slowly though, he manages to bring himself under control. After all, he isn't good at the business of war, but he has other cards to play…

Kyle bandages a gun shot wound with practiced ease. After more than six months at this job, he has become used to the frequent brutality of the guards – even towards the camps youngest patrons. The little girl whose arm he is tending to, sits up tall when he looks at her. "It hurts," she moans unhappily. "It hurts a lot!"

Kyle smiles at her. He's already given her morphine. It should barely sting. "Don't worry. I'm not sending you back to the fields. At least, not for…" he hesitates, wondering if he should tease her, "well…"

The little girl squirms with anticipation and Kyle is glad that not everything has been taken from them. "At least not for a couple weeks. I mean a bone shard could travel up your bloodstream and into your heart." He winks broadly at her and she grins back. "Until then you'll have to help around here." She heaves a mock sigh, but giggles when Kyle ruffles her hair.

This is all he can do.

He has about fifty of these little "helpers" so far; about thirty children scattered around the room; and at twenty more outside doing "jobs" for him. They all disappear or jump to perform some practiced task when a NERV officer enters the room but mostly they hang around. When Kyle has time, he teaches them little things like reading or writing. Sometimes he takes a page from Stan's book and teaches them something "useful" like forest survival skills or elementary karate moves.

If he's busy, then he sends them off to bother a lonely patient. They'll gather around his or her bed and will listen for hours if intrigued enough.

It's not entirely altruistic. He has a little army of midgets, all of whom would do anything for him and they're drunk with youth – fearless enough to make Kyle feel almost okay for using them to get medical supplies to torture victims stuck in the oubliettes on the far east side or to charm officers out of an extra side of bread for old Jensen, a diabetic.

As it is, the parents in the camp all adore Kyle and have no idea that he's using their children as agents of espionage. Of course they also think that the only reason Kyle's flagrant rule-breaking hasn't been punished yet is because he has an in with a certain NERV officer. Kyle doesn't plan to tell them anytime soon that he has no in and that the card house he so meticulously built is going to come tumbling down the second someone plays the slightest attention to what he's doing.

Kyle waves the little girl – May – aside and walks over to check on Kelly Fisher. She's twenty-three years old and suffers from a heart condition. Kyle is trying to keep the officers from noticing her. He's had to sneak her in under a different name twice already, but Kyle thinks that if Mr. Peterson would just die (and yes, he does think that on a daily basis) then he can transplant his heart into hers (This is a crazy idea and Kyle has no idea how to procure a sterile environment for the surgery or even surgical equipment. Also, Kyle's teachers would take away his license if they knew, but, fucking hell, Bebe. And then, as always when he remembers her, Kyle focuses his thoughts away).

Kyle checks the makeshift tube leading into Kelly's heart. She's breathing heavily, but smiles when Kyle touches her chest. "I bet he's going to go today," she wheezes.

It's become a sort of morbid joke between them.

"Naw, tomorrow," Kyle jokes, "I bet you ten dollars."

Neither of them have money.

Suddenly, they hear a knocking on the door. They always knock once after Kyle told them that some of the patients could have air-born diseases. With practiced ease children start to disappear. Kyle beckons the little girl he treated earlier to hide under the medical counter. May frowns – it had rained the night before and the ground was more mud than dirt – but quickly slides down when Kyle gestures to her more frantically.

A second later the door opens hesitantly and Kyle nods for the young soldier to come in. From the way he refuses to look Kyle in the eye, Kyle knows that it's bad.

"Um…sorry to bother you sir, but there's to be a selection" he says, barely stopping himself from shifting from feet to feet.

"Today?" Kyle asks incredulously. "But…today's not Saturday."

"I, erm…I know sir, it's a surprise selection." he stammers. "You all are to stay here. They'll be making their picks from the hospital." The young man casts his eyes downward and Kyle realizes why the young man is so fidgety. It's Cartman's assistant. He probably had to put up with Cartman's tempers all day long.

And then Kyle realizes what the soldier is saying. "From the hospital?" he asks incredulously.

"Yes sir," the boy answers, "We're trying to get rid of dead weight."

Kyle opens his mouth to respond angrily, but the door slams open violently and Kyle barely catches himself mid-flinch. Cartman walks into the med room followed by six foot soldiers.

"You've done well with the place Kyle," Cartman says, looking around approvingly. "Last time I was in here, there were more dead than the flies could feast on."

"What," Kyle grits out, "are you doing?"

"A selection of course. " Cartman sounds cheery and it makes a cold shiver run down Kyle's spine.

"But-" he starts.

"Kill them all." Cartman cheerfully interrupts.

"No!" Kyle starts forward, but the young soldier from before grabs him tightly to keep him from interfering. "Cartman, no, you can't!"

"Except for the doctor of course," Cartman continues, completely ignoring Kyle, "It'll take too much time to find another one."

Kyle violently knees the soldier holding him in the groin and leaps towards Cartman. The other soldiers draw their guns up, but Cartman holds a hand up and catches Kyle by the collar, slamming him into the wall and holding him there tightly. Kyle struggles, trying to kick and bite and even spit, but Cartman's forearm against his throat is like steel and when he finally presses in, Kyle folds like a card house.

It was even more unstable than I thought, Kyle thinks through a film of tears.

Cartman nods curtly and the soldiers begin to fan out and take positions around the room. Kyle whines and tries to loosen Cartman's grip around his throat. Cartman just presses him deeper into the wall. The carbines click and Kyle's heartbeat is amplified – all he can hear is the blood rushing through his head and moaning – no no no no nonononono…

The first shots make Kyle jerk wildly and he claws like an animal. He's a doctor damnit; what doctor can't protect their patients? He lets out something like a hysterical scream only far too desperate and digs his nails into whatever he can reach, himself, Cartman, the wall. Cartman rides his jerk, holding him tightly – making him watch - and with a shock, Kyle realizes that Cartman is hard and pressing unashamedly against him.

Kyle shudders with revulsion. He's not new to the concept. There have been times during heated gunfights that Kyle has looked over and seen Stan watching him with a dark, hungry look in his eyes like he wanted to push Kyle down to the dirt and – and –

But Cartman? It would be – it's…

Cartman suddenly looms over him and whispers, "I win." Then he kisses Kyle roughly and lets him sink back to the ground. There are curls of smoke rising around the room and the smell of burnt corpses seem to hit Kyle all at once. He throws up.

Cartman laughs and orders the soldiers out of the room. Kyle sits against the wall as the men who shamelessly murdered his patients begun to walk out the door and tries to summon up the courage to stand up or at least move – not just huddle here against this wall. And then remembers Cartman's words: I win.

Slowly Kyle curls his hands in the mud beneath him and raises his fist. Propping himself up on his knees, he throws ball of mud at Cartman's head. Some part of his body – the silent part of him that has kept him sane through-out the war - remembers the exact calculations it takes to hit Eric Cartman square in the head. It's the same part of him that laughs when the sludge drips down Cartman's hair and onto his pristine uniform.

Cartman turns around very slowly.

He looks at Kyle and Kyle expects to die. Instead Cartman signals his men to move towards him. Kyle doesn't remember any more and is glad.

Kyle's eyes must've been open for quite a while, for when he sees the dark sky turn to daylight and then plunge back into the blackness of a starless night, it doesn't amaze him. It does leave curious greenish glowing writings on the inside of his lids that he can't decipher though, so he blinks his eyes to make them vanish. His ears are ringing, but he feels strangely disconnected; he can't feel the rest of his body.

Odd. He seems to be lying on something soft. And he can't move his arms They're strung above his head. It's disturbing, Kyle thinks dreamily, but not enough to make a fuss about it. Kyle really wants to ask something fundamental, like where he is but the sound that makes it out of his mouth suspiciously sounds like a moan. It echoes eerily inside his head.

Kyle followed the shadows on the far end of the tent to its owner. Cartman. Of course. Isn't it always? The fire in the sky is sporadic now; almost grudgingly it gives way to the murky light of predawn, muting everything in its path.

"Wha-" Kyle murmurs, only half-awake.

"You're drugged. Didn't want to wake the whole camp when you woke and started screaming from pain." Cartman eyes him with a strange, contemplative look in his eyes. It's far different than his maniacal cheerfulness of earlier. "I told the other officers that I'd finish up with you."

Well, Kyle thinks distantly, maybe Cartman will let him rest for a bit longer before doing whatever it is he plans to do. Kyle is finding it hard to care. A blanket has been thrown over him negligently and he is trying to burrow deeper into its fold as best as he can with his arms like two unfeeling sticks above him when his sight falls on the awards hanging on the tent walls and the rifle leaning indolently against the bed. He knows then that this is Cartman's tent and its Cartman's bedding he is stretched out on. Kyle goes very still. With his heartbeat rushing in his ears, he tries to keep his breathing even and desperately strains the bonds around his wrists.

The tug at his wrists feels as if he'd touched bone. He moans unhappily.

Cartman turns almost lazily. "Going somewhere?" he asks.

He reaches over Kyle's head leisurely, ignoring the other's reflective wince, to unbuckle the strap around his wrists.

"This will hurt." he says; there is no malice in his tone.

It does, eventually - enough to make Kyle's eyes tear, but that isn't why he gives a warning snarl when Cartman sits on the bed next to him.

"Don't try me, Kyle, you're not good for it." Cartman says without his usual smugness. "Why don't you take it easy for a while?"

Say it, Kyle rages silently, say that I should be glad it is wasn't me. Say that I should be glad I'm still alive.

Instead, he has to succumb to having his arms flexed back and forth, then skillfully massaged until the numb flesh begins to tingle painfully. As sensation comes back, Cartman ties his hands again, this time to his front. And isn't that a sensible precaution...

"What do you want?" Kyle asks, his voice shaking.

Cartman leans closer to him and smirks. "I think you know," he says softly, tracing one curl of hair.

Kyle rears away from him, as far as he can go, wriggling on his back. "I can't -" He is shaking harder now. "I don't know how – I…please, Cartman please…I…" And he's resorted to begging. Fucking great.

"You don't know how?" Cartman rolls over and traps Kyle between his legs. "What about you and Stan?"

Kyle freezes in shock. He didn't think anyone knew about that other than Kenny. Well maybe most people had guessed, but it had been after Cartman had left,

Cartman smirked at him. "I suggest you start remembering or I'll have to have more demonstrations like today."

Kyle's starts shaking again, but only once, twice and then a dead calmness rises up from the very center of soul, filling him to the very fingertips with a cold resolve: "I lied," he whispers against Cartman's throat. "I – I'm good at it. I can suck you till you scream." With the tip of his tongue he laps at all the salty smooth skin he can reach, tiny delicate licks that force the body above him into the faintest shiver.

And then Cartman laughs at him and Kyle realizes that it's all just a game – and look how fast the Jew lost.

Cartman presses into him and says bitingly, "Not that I doubt your training. But I am not in the habit of sleeping with whores. "

Then he rides Kyle's furious jerk, pressing them both deeper into the bedding.

"Who is the whore here?" Kyle howls. "Who turned traitor? Who sold out his fucking country? WHO are you calling a whore, you bastard!"

Kyle is sobbing with rage.

Cartman hasn't drawn back during his fit, and now every bruise seems to flare with its own agonizing beat wherever their two bodies touch, but that doesn't keep Kyle's traitorous cock down and that is about the last straw, that he has no control over his own fucking flesh.

When he goes for Cartman's throat, he knows his speed is frightening, knows his sharp teeth can make a man think twice about letting him come anywhere near. But Cartman hardly flinches.

With tiny growling sounds Kyle laps at skin prickly with the shade of a new beard. As soon as hands close on his shoulders he dares for a quick taste of the man's lips before shaking out of their hold. Almost frantic then, he kicks off the scratchy blanket and twists to his side to lick a path from Cartman's sternum to his lower belly, over hard flesh darker than his own and scarred by different weapons. The tiny starburst of a white scar on Cartman's thigh catches his attention briefly and he lets his fingers stroke over it before returning his ministrations to the rapidly filling cock. Cartman makes his first involuntary sound then.

Encouraged, Kyle rubs his lips over its length much harsher than his previous caresses and feels the whole body under him flinch satisfactorily. He groans as fingers force his mouth open and a thumb presses down on his tongue, until he has to swallow his own salvia. His hands claw into Cartman's thigh as his own hips begin to jerk.

Immediately Cartman pushes him off and rolls him over onto his back covering his burning body with his own - and holds him down forcefully enough to make a struggle impossible. Kyle isn't allowed to move except to breathe and even that, he is shown, is under Cartman's control.

"I don't want your mouth," he whispers into Kyle's ear. "And I want you to scream for me to fuck you."

Then he meets Kyle's eyes from a hand-span and this time Kyle's lips are touched almost hesitantly before his leg is raised over Cartman's shoulder.

It's a position Kyle knows he will hate - so exposed and vulnerable he feels as soon as the other's fingers are pressed urgently at his opening. A fist closes around his arousal, hot and possessive, and squeezes. Kyle screams as the fingers slid into him to the last digit. Then again - and he thinks that it will rip him apart. And once more - only this time the strokes get faster and a place inside him flares up. Then the fingers withdraw.

"No..." Kyle gasps, lifting his hips. "Don't stop!"

Cartman's mouth, devouring his, silences him but does nothing to quench the feverish ache in him. So, it is pure animal relief that makes him groan as Cartman resumes slowly stroking him. Just to stop anew. Kyle nearly cries with frustration as his hands are slapped away and pinned over his head. But when the hot flesh of Cartman's cock does press against him, he shrinks back. Cartman gives his bottom lip a sharp little nip to get his attention.

Then he pushes in.

Kyle bites the back of his hand so he doesn't scream.

"Shh, there. I'll go slow, I know you can take me."

"Bastard-" Kyle gets his sobbing breath back under control.

Cartman gives a short breathless laugh and then moves.

He's burning with each deep and slow thrust. Spinning out of control with each stroke of the hand and each stabbing shove of the cock that hits the place in him Cartman's fingers had only teased. Kyle's body throws itself towards completion.

Cartman stills then and draws in a hissing breath above him. He seems oddly vulnerable now with his hair hanging into his flushed face and those eyes gone dark.

I could touch you now, Kyle muses. Your mouth would be soft.

Kyle is already half asleep when he feels Cartman sag next to him, infused with a strange warming glow that pushes both the pain and the numbness back.

When Kyle wakes up later that day, he's sore and the blankets are cold. He flops back onto the hard pallet and curls into a ball. He is alone.

Everything hurts.

He manages to get up an hour later and staggers out of the tent. A soldier nods to him as leaves the tent and Kyle realizes as the young boy blushes and refuses to look him in the eyes that he has heard the entire thing. Kyle blushes himself and hurries away.

He is sent back to the clinic. The clinic where the dead bodies of his former patients await him. He slowly drags their bodies out back to the makeshift cemetery, crying openly, a knot flexing and unflexing in the hollow of his throat. He stares unseeingly at the twenty bodies, three of them children, that he's buried today and reminds himself that this is Cartman's treachery.

This is Cartman.

And he will never beg or bow to him again.

He goes back to work. The life at the prison camp leaves little time for regrets and even littler for grieving. Within the hour Kyle has new patients and is already rebuilding his crackerjack empire. He'll just have to be a little more careful this time around. All in all Kyle thinks that everything will work out for the best: Cartman will leave him alone now. After all he got what he wanted: Kyle's utter humiliation and degradation. It can all go back to normal now and if sometimes, he dreams about Cartman and…and that night, well, he has a very stressful life. And it's all going to be fine.

And it is…until Stan shows up.

Kyle gets word from one of the patients who has been moved from the oubliettes outside to the clinic to make room for the high-profile prisoner. "Stan Marsh" the patient says and Kyle's world freezes for a minute. "He was pretty badly beaten up too. I think Officer Cartman will have a go at him later. Fuck, dude, I went a round with him once. Cried like a baby. Told them everything they wanted to know."

Kyle tries to breathe. "Where…" he swallows his question. "What was he doing around here anyway?"

"Grapevine says he was looking for a friend. Someone who's a prisoner here. I guess they're – hey where're you goin?"

Kyle ignores him and walks out of the clinic. He heads for the oubliettes. Stan is in the last one. Kyle ignores the stench and crouches near the grating. "Stan," he whispers softly.

A lump lying in the corner moans and shocked, Kyle realizes that the mass of bruises and dirt and god-knows what else is Stan. "Stan!" Kyle hisses again, "It's me. Are you okay?"

Stan moans again, obviously in pain and Kyle starts shaking. He's frightened. He's never seen Stan in such bad shape before and it scares him. "Don't worry Stan," Kyle whispers, voice cracking, "I'm – I'm going to help."

Kyle forces himself to hop up and heads for Cartman's tent. Cartman won't do this to Stan, not if…if Kyle pleads with him not to. He slept with the bastard, for fuck's sake, that has to hold some leeway with him.

He wastes a precious few minutes arguing with one of the guards before another recognizes him and lets him with a laugh and a slap on the butt. Kyle fairly runs towards Cartman's tent, skidding to a halt right inside it. Cartman looks up from a ledger to glance at him disinterestedly.

"Kyle," he says. "Are they just letting prisoners walk into officers' tents now?"

Kyle bristles. "For fuck's sake Cartman, you know why I'm here."

Cartman drops the ledger and stalks towards him. "And you know I won't do anything to help Stan. So why are you here?" Cartman gives him that look; the look from that night and Kyle fumbles backwards until he hits the bed.

"But," Kyle starts, "You could – you could try…please -"

Cartman looked at shrewdly. "What will you do for me?" he asked softly.

Kyle looked to the side and makes a choice: "You know," he whispers lowly.

Cartman looks pleased. "You liked it, didn't you?" he asks, a hint of eight-year-old vindictiveness in his tone.

Kyle flushed. "What the fuck do you want me to say Cartman?" he yelled, "That I liked it? Fine. That you win? Fine. That-"

Cartman touches Kyle's face, shutting him up. His fingertips are warm and slightly rough. And that is exactly how Kyle remembers them to be, brushing against his skin, playing his body with unfaltering precision, making him arch and moan into their caress.

He makes another choice - without being aware of making it – and closes the distance between them - and then Cartman is there, in the ring of his arms, their chests pressed, their faces so close. Cartman's fingers keep touching him, probing his thin curls, palm cupping against his cheek.

Kyle takes a deep breath, closes his eyes resolutely and reaches with open lips to Cartman's mouth.

Hip lips are thin and dry and yet so soft as they open to Kyle's touch - and his warm tongue finds its way into Kyle's mouth, tasting salty and vaguely brackish but still right. Arms tighten around Kyle, pulling him even closer almost violently. Cartman holds his chin as he keeps kissing him - and kissing is good, damn good, damn dangerous; it is doing something to Kyle's legs, turning them to jelly.

He whimpers a little and clutches his hands on Cartman's face, answering the kiss furiously and clamping his teeth on the man's lower lip. That night he'd never got a chance to do anything, just kinda lay there and took it. Now Kyle is going to make up for the lost time. Even if it was the only time between them.

"I'll never stop hating you," he mutters not letting Cartman's face go.

"I'll remember that... later."

"Bed," he orders.

"Yes, your highness." There is a sneer - and at any other time Kyle would take offence. But now there are more important things than responding to Cartman's nastiness.

Like getting rid of their clothes, for example. Cartman has a clear advantage in that; the zippers of his uniform are really easy to slide down - but finally Kyle disentangles his curls from the collar of his t-shirt - and Cartman's warm palms slide over Kyle's naked ribcage.

He chokes on air and arches, head pressed against the pillow. At first he tries to catch the offensive sounds he makes, biting his lip or the back of his hand but then... fuck it, it's not like he and Cartman have anything to hide from each other. They've seen each other in every possible position...

And once that is decided, once Kyle lets his control slip - he suddenly feels so good. And now he can use his hands to do various things to the Cartman's body. His skin is smooth and hot and marred with scars that Kyle can't resist tracing with his fingers - and touching them makes arousal ripple through Kyle's spine for some reason.

Cartman's long fingers are on his face, caressing, holding it lightly – Kyle's nearly forgotten that Cartman is able to touch so weightlessly, almost gently - and in his eyes there is something... something that Kyle enjoys seeing, something that doesn't humiliate him but makes him feel warm and content.

"I missed you... since last time," Cartman says, almost fumbling.

Arrogant bastard! Like that's enough.

But Cartman is too busy to notice the expression on Kyle's face. There is a thin strand of hair that has strayed out of his braid - and it falls on Kyle's face, and he picks it up, twisting it around his fingers. So smooth... Then there are slick fingers, one, two, inside him - and after some stretching and some exactly-right touches that make Kyle writhe and gasp - blunt pressure - and a bit of pain - and it is in.

Cartman kisses him again, right before Kyle cries out - and he climaxes, bucking and his moan muffled into Cartman's mouth. And then, when Kyle's body is still melting in the afterglow, he sees how Cartman's face becomes vulnerable and somewhat very young as he comes.

Kyle lies with him for quite a while. Neither of them move. Finally Kyle whispers: "So, you'll help Stan?"

Cartman snorts and violently pushes Kyle off the bed. He lands with a yelp and thump. "Yeah," Cartman says his eyes cold and almost...hurt? "I'll help Stan."

It's a month later when Cartman comes to get Kyle again. Stan is helping him in the hospital and they are both smiling at each other, laughing over some joke or another. Kyle feels lighter than ever. He could always stand anything when Stan was by his side.

Then Cartman stomps into the hospital in a full rage. He pushes past Kyle and Stan, ignoring Kyle's alarmed shout and throws one of the beds to the floor. It lands with a solid thump, mattress upending and sheets flying. He then turns to the cabinets and smashes each and every one of them. Stan and Kyle can only watch in horror and move out of his range.

"Cartman?" Kyle finally whispers.

Cartman turns at his voice and stalks towards him. Pushing a still injured Stan to the ground, he grabs Kyle roughly and throws him onto another bed. Kyle lands with a grunt but doesn't fight back when Cartman begins ripping off his shirt. Stan makes a warning snarl in the back of his throat. He reaches out and touches Cartman's cheek.

"It's okay." he says softly.

The words hit Cartman like a blow and he slumps against Kyle for a few minutes. Finally he gets up and dusts off his uniform, hiding his eyes. "You two," Cartman starts out roughly, "you have to come with me. Now." His eyes shift from left to right. "Quickly." His voice, if Kyle is hearing correctly, almost sounds like its pleading.

"Why?" Stan asks, his voice rough and authoritative, "Why would we ever go anywhere with you?"

Stan doesn't know what Kyle has done to get him out of the oubliette. He doesn't know what Cartman looks like right before he comes. He doesn't know that they can trust him.

Kyle touches Stan's arm lightly and turns to Cartman. "Okay," he says calmly, "What do you want us to do?"

They are blindfolded and bundled into an army truck. Kyle trusts Cartman – he has gotten Stan out of prison; he has done everything he has said he would do, but there is a cold, sick feeling building in the back of his throat and he clutches Stan's hand tightly, willing it to subside.

The truck finally stops, throwing both Stan and Kyle forward. They are dragged out of the truck and Cartman tugs their blindfolds off. The three stare at each other. Finally, Cartman tosses Stan a knife. "Wait until you can no longer see me and then cut yourselves free and get out of here." Cartman puts a hand to his face to shade his eyes. "I need to get back before they realize I'm missing."

Stan is shaking his head. "I don't understand. Why are you-"

Kyle, however, has already figured it out. He steps forward and grabs Cartman's sleeve. "You can come with us." he whispers, "It's okay. You can."

Cartman gives him that odd little half-smile, but his eyes are dark. He touches Kyle's face once and then turns and walks away. Kyle stares after him, but soon Stan is tugging him in the other direction. Kyle looks over his shoulder until Cartman's lonely figure has completely faded from view. Stan sets a pace towards central base. Both are silent.

They are going to be alright; he believes it.

Begin Encoded Transmission:

To: Commander Surrow M. Hilstow
From: Brigadier General Eric T. Cartman
Subject: Completion of Plan A

Tracer has been planted on Subject: Kyle Broflovski. Signal is active and moving. Destruction of central rebel base will commence when final data has been received and analyzed.

End Encoded Transmission.

Begin Decoding.

The End