Kyle's New Groove

Disclaimer: I've never owned South Park

A/N: Just something cute and sweet after the angst-ridden job that was "No Grave is Rich" Just a couple notes: "I hate life…and I'm banging your mom" is not a real song (to the best of my knowledge) so just think an angrier than usual Black Sabbath on crack. Hope everyone enjoys.

Summary: Kyle's changed and everyone's taken notice. Various Pairings.

Stan

So it's like this: Kyle's always been a little weird about his looks. It started back in fourth grade with that ridiculous list, but it's only grown worse what with the glasses and braces and jew-fro. But the thing is – and I say this as Kyle super best (platonic!) friend only – the material's always been there.

He could be really good-looking if he – god, this sounds so gay – took care of his appearance a little more. His head's always buried in books or science experiments or this one time, Chuck Norris' weird-ass ageism cult and he's never realized that with a better haircut, some contacts, and possibly an orthodontist who didn't spend most of his time smelling the happy gas instead of treating his patients, he could be…um, well, kinda hot. And again, I'm just his best friend. We're close like that…but not like that. I mean…shut up.

It's just that, even though his parents, Ike, Kenny, and I have been telling him this for years until we finally gave up, Kyle doesn't quite seem to get it. Okay, so he's ragingly oblivious. But everyone has issues, right?

Anyway, IT all started the first day of junior year. Or rather, it all started at the end of sophomore year during one of Kyle and Cartman's big blowout fights. It started out like every other fight they'd ever had – you know, your mother's a whore; yours is a fat bitch; Jew bastard; Nazi-ass; blah, blah, blah.

But then – and I swear, I never would have noticed this if I wasn't doing the best friend thing and glaring at Cartman with utter disgust – I saw Cartman look at Kyle. And I don't mean look, but look, like in an up-and-down way. Like he was checking him out. Cartman. Checking out. Kyle.

Obviously the world was coming to an end.

When Kyle finally stomped off to his locker, I snuck a peek at him. You know, in that way – the way Cartman just had. Just a quick look up-and-down. Now I've never looked at my friend like that but I had to admit – very reluctantly I might add; I have a girlfriend – that he was…you know. Good looking. If only he got rid of those glasses and braces he could be quite…presentable. Unfortunately I might have been staring a bit too long – in fact I might have been gaping a little (no drool though, stop staring) and um…Wendy might have caught me, my girlfriend Wendy.

So there was a lot of screaming and purse-hitting. And again there was that raging obliviousness from Kyle who managed to finish his math and science homework while I was being cock-blocked with a Fendi. He didn't even realize the fight was about him! But Bebe finally managed to drag her away saying something about how Wendy should have known this was coming, they called themselves super-best friends for fuck's sake. Stupid Bebe, making assumptions, planting ideas into Wendy's head. Also, I totally think we should rethink calling each other super best friends. It's starting to have a bad effect on my love life.

Anyway I spent the summer mourning the death of my relationship and fielding ridiculous calls from my relatives congratulating me on my new relationship with the nice redheaded boy.

So maybe sophomore year was a sort of prelude to what would happen next year. Junior year. It started at the bus stop. Kenny, Cartman and I were waiting for the bus. We had barely seen each other that summer. Kenny had been working near constantly at a dive bar across town. I had seen Cartman a few times at the library of all places wearing some sort of detective outfit of all things but he had pretended not to see me. And Kyle and Ike had gone to Jew camp the day after school had let out and had only returned the night before.

"Hey Stan," Kyle said from behind.

I turned around and was hit with a warm solid presence. "Kyle?" I managed to squeak

He had…changed. He had finally gotten those contacts and his green eyes practically glowed against his alabaster skin and his – finally – tamed red curls. Even the braces were gone leaving a row of perfectly straight white teeth. Um…wow.

"Kyle…" I asked again, completely dumbfounded.

"Yeah," he sounded worried now, "Stan is everything okay?"

I swallowed back my first thoughts which seemed to be along the tune of the strip tease song and instead said, "Yeah, I'm fine. You've…uh, grown."

Kyle smiled happily. "I'm taller right? I always knew it would happen. Man, you know I've been waiting for this like forever. I'm not the shortest person in class anymore, right? I have…"

As Kyle continued to blather on about his height, which frankly wasn't the most interesting thing about him at any rate, I glanced around to make sure that I hadn't lost my mind. Kenny was gaping at Kyle, a thin line of drool hanging from his mouth. Cartman was studiously looking the other way, tapping his foot frantically (Dude, I don't pretend to understand him) and Ike was apparently going into spasms of glee-induced laughter.

I nailed my jaw back its mouth and took another good look at Kyle. I blinked heavily as the pure…good-lookingness got to me and decided two things: one, that I wasn't crazy; Kyle was intensely hot, and two, I needed to look at Kyle out of the corner of eyes from now on…or at least until I could look at him without blushing.

"Stan?" Kyle said.

"I…uh – well, Kyle, I…" As I continued to babble like a fool, Kenny started to grin, rapidly overcoming the KYLE EFFECT.

"Kyle," he said with an air of great solemnity and a certain amount of lechery, "You're beautiful."

Kyle flushed tomato-red and with unusual attentiveness I noticed he even looked good when his head resembled a stop sign.

"I…I don't know what you're talking about." Kyle stuttered out and then looked to me for support.

My mouth dropped. Kyle really didn't get it. He was seriously fucking stupid. All those years of telling himself that he was ugly and being called brace-face by his classmates had sunk in some irreparable way. He truly didn't see how good he looked. He had become the most self-effacing teenager on the planet.

It was actually kinda cute. In a platonic way of course.

"Kyle," I started, gentle and soft, "Kenny's-"

I was cut off by the bus. I looked at Kyle helplessly as he boarded the bus, beginning to argue with Kenny. Ike appeared at my shoulder. "This," he said, gleefully rubbing his hands together, "Is going to be awesome!"

Ike

School is pretty boring. Usually. Usually it's like math and reading and whatever. It's all easy. CNN is more interesting than school and it's, like, CNN. So like screw school. I learned all this stuff back in middle school. So did Kyle for that matter. He's weird though; he enjoys school.

This year's going to be different. I tell just from the gang's reaction at the bus stop. They were like shocked when they saw Kyle. Not that I blame them. Kyle – like – fuck. He's changed. Totally.

It was weird. Like waking up one morning and having a hard-on for your own brother? That – so not cool. Anyway I totally got over that. I've seen Kyle talking to poop before – that kinda stuff usually puts a damper on any sort of raging libido I might get.

So I had like the entire summer to get used to Kyle strange new attractiveness, but everyone else – totally weirded out. Stan kept staring straight ahead and then jumping to face him in one quick motion as if he could catch a glimpse of the old Kyle out of the corner of his eye. Kenny was trying – unsuccessfully – to sidle up to Kyle but he didn't quite know how to sidle – and like does anyone? – so Kyle kept giving him weird looks and backing away from him. Cartman was…tapping his foot frantically and humming something under his breath. Freak.

School was going to be awesome!

And then, it totally was.

The whispers started ahead of us, like a rolling tidal wave and I gleefully skipped a bit ahead of my brother so that I could hear all the gossip. I saw Wendy Testaburger looking woefully at Kyle. She grabbed Stan by the arm and pulled him aside. I heard him tell her that it was okay, she would have picked Kyle too if she'd known that he'd turn out like that. Stan despairingly cried out that he was NOT dating Kyle.

Half the people in the hallway looked heartened at this news and the other half looked disbelieving. Kyle was oblivious to the imminent scandal. Whispers started breaking out and several people asked among themselves if the two super-best friends had broken up over the summer. I snickered to myself and joined an ignorant Kyle at his locker, trying not to shake with laughter. Stan came up to us and glared at me, muttering about how they were eight and eight year olds said and did things they didn't mean so why was he still being punished for it?

Then he pulled Kyle aside. "Um – look dude, if anyone says anything to you, don't worry about it."

"Whatever Stan," Kyle said absentmindedly, stuffing several books into his bag, "Look, I've got to go to class. I want to scope out a good seat in the front. See you there."

Stan and I watched Kyle hurry to class. The people behind him craned their necks to get a good look at his ass. This was…hilarious.

Stan wheeled on me as I began to laugh again. His eyes were ones of a man driven to madness. "This isn't funny, Ike!" he yelled, "Kyle's going to get mauled out there!"

I rolled my eyes. "Dude this is South Park, not an African jungle. Also, seriously, are you crushing on him?"

Stan sputtered, his face turning red and finally he bit out: "NO! I don't like Kyle that way. We're only super-best-" Stan cut himself off at my raised eyebrow and instead said, "only best friends. And this is South Park. And Kyle – Kyle totally doesn't get it." Stan shook my shoulders. "He'll be eaten alive!"

My eyes widened. Kyle was like really super naïve. And he'd been thinking of himself like scum for the past nine years, so yeah, if he ever found out about his…unnaturally good good-lookingness – which you know he never might at this rate – he'd like totally freak out. And the attention he'd get would seriously like screw him up.

"Holy shit dude!" I whispered.

"Yeah, we need a plan." Stan said, a determined lilt to his voice. "We have to protect Kyle from all the people who would take advantage of-"

"Seriously, dude are you gay for him?" I interjected.

"NO!" Stan wailed.

"Because," I continued, "I'd be totally okay with it and so would my parents. They're always wondering when you're going to make a move. They think you'd make a great son-in-law. Hell, most of the town's rooting for you two. We think you and Wendy were a bad match." I added conspiratorially.

"I'm not gay," Stan snapped. "I'm just sensitive."

I looked at him.

"Shut up," Stan said sullenly.

"Guys," Kenny said, coming up behind Stan, "Have you seen Kyle? He's like – like – wow…" Kenny trailed off into a sigh that was almost…orgasmic.

"Kenny, no." Stan said. "Kyle is your friend. Not a conquest."

Kenny rolled his eyes. "Yeah, yeah, I know. I'm not going to hurt him."

Stan ignored him. "So I think that one of us should stick with him at all times. We'll like rotate or something. He has most of the same classes as me. You make sure he's never alone in the hallways. And at home."

"What's my job?" Kenny asked.

"To not seduce him." I told him bluntly. Stan was pulling out highlighters and drawing little diagrams on his class schedules.

Not Gay? Sure.

Cartman

It all started sophomore year.

I don't know why I saw what I suddenly saw but it was like – BAM! Shock. Awe. Lightning.

The Jew – he suddenly wasn't so Jewish anymore. I found myself liking the way his hair curled over his eyes and the way his entire body tightened with anger. I thought at first I was just getting off on the anti-Semitic thing, but no. It – it wasn't that. Pictures of Auschwitz didn't do it for me. He did. Yes, okay, yes I had a crush on that repulsive, horrible, Jew. I was disgusted at myself. And I knew I had to do something about it.

My first thought was to join one of those anti-gay brainwashing classes. But do you know how much they cost? 200-400 a pop. Who the hell has that much money to throw around? Well I did, but it wasn't like reluctance that made me decide not to do it. Seriously. I was saving for the new Wii. And suck it, I bought it last week.

Anyway, I decided to head for the – add in a theatrical shudder - public library. I donned myself in suitable mysterious attire (a trench coat and detective hat thingy) and slunk in the back entrance. And don't listen to Stan. He did not see me. I was disguised.

I headed for the self-help section. Yes, yes, I hear you, the self-help section, I know. But I was desperate. Every time I thought about the Jew, little butterflies flew and everything was sunshine and shit. I couldn't live like that anymore.

The self-help section was ridiculous of course. I finally found a particularly stupid book that gave me at least a little good advice. I had to visualize myself as an independent person. I didn't need Kyle. I needed a mantra; a song; and an animal, all of which would represent the essence of me.

I immediately decided that my mantra would be: I'm a badass, Jew-hating, Nazi who's banging your mother. My song would be "I hate life…and I'm banging your mother" and my animal would be a mother banging…shark.

I repeated my mantra and song twenty-four/seven throughout the summer. I visualized the shit out of that shark. And by the end of summer I was working that self-help crap. No, I was kicking the shit out of that self-help book.

Then school started again.

I was fine until the bus stop. Until…Kyle.

I saw him and…and…okay, look, this is hard for me to admit, but I…melted.

The song in my head changed mid-satan-lover verse to "Do You Dare" and the shark changed into a bunny and started hopping down the street and at that moment I would have happily skipped down the street hand-in-hand with Kyle after it.

It didn't even matter that Kyle had somehow become mind-bendingly gorgeous. Though I mean, it was a plus. Imagine if the girl of your dreams suddenly got a boob job and upgraded from to C-cup to a D-cup. Yeah, it's that good.

Then I came to my senses and quickly looked away. The song didn't stop but at least the urge to scoop Kyle up and head for Shangri-la lowered to a dull pulse. Obviously the Jew had some sort of strange Jewish power over me. Fucker. Sweetheart – No, no, no – I had to defeat this evil urge. I couldn't let all my years of vicious hate fade to…to…bunnies and Kylie Minogue lyrics!

I decided to avoid him. It was cowardly, but it would only be until I got over this abnormal urge of mine. I slunk around school for months, back in my trench coat and hat, slinking around corners and suspiciously eyeing everyone in class. Somehow the slunking turned into stalking and I started following the Jew around school. Damn his secret Jew powers!

I can't really say if he noticed my disappearance from his life - though I certainly hoped he did – but his life had become – difficult. Stan, the pathetic gay dog that he was, was always hovering over Kyle warding away butt pinches and whistles and several versions of the strip tease song like a jealous – gay – boyfriend. And then he whined how he's not into Kyle.

Not gay? Yeah sure.

I didn't really mind though – even if I was the only one who saw him first (MINE!) - because between Stan and Ike no one ever got too close to Kyle to paw him or feel him up or steal a kiss. And believe me, people would do this – we're perverted animals at South Park High. He was still an innocent – he didn't even know that he had become a raging sex symbol overnight. It was so sweet – NOOOOOO! It was happening again. I was staring at Kyle for a protracted amount of time.

I looked away quickly. It was near the end of class and Bebe was trying unsuccessfully to flirt with Kyle under the guise of history homework. Kyle totally wasn't getting it and instead was looking adorably confused – and by adorable, I mean stupidly. Stan, across the room, was glaring at Bebe without much success and Wendy was looking between Stan and Kyle woefully. I was sitting across the aisle from Kyle (and no, I didn't plan it. It just happened. Really. Fuck off.) and her ass was in my face.

As she tried another idiotic pick-up line, I finally got fed-up. The song was getting louder as I sat around and did nothing. I had to take action. Not for the Jew, but for my own blasted brain. Every second of this song was probably draining away brain cells needed for planning world domination.

I knocked my pen off the ground and stood up to reach around and get it. While standing, I "accidentally" knocked Bebe back on her ass. Grinning, I ignored Bebe's squawks and reached down to pick up my pen. I was met with another arm holding it. I followed the pen up a beautiful – I mean, ugly – arm to a perfect – I mean, deformed – shoulder to a lovely – I mean, ah, screw it – neck and up to Kyle's sweet face.

"Here's your pen, Cartman," Kyle said.

I chanced looking directly into Kyle's face – and for reference, never ever, look to his face. It's like looking into the face of God. Fuck, he is so beautiful. – and then looked away quickly. The song was blaring.

"Uh Cartman?" Kyle's voice sounded uneasy and he placed the pen back on my desk. "You've – lately…you've – you have a – a tick…a facial tick and you're like constantly tapping your foot and humming under your breath." Kyle hesitated. "You okay?"

I cursed under my breath. I had been hoping no one had noticed the foot-tapping, facial-ticking, humming thing I had doing recently. It was…the song. It was consuming. I couldn't stop humming along with it. My mother thought I had some sort of seizure problem.

"Wait," Kyle frowned and leaned closer. I froze. He was so fucking close. "Is that-"

"Kyle!" Bebe shouted, breaking into the conversation. "Willyougoonadatewithme?"

Both of us turned to look at her and as all people did when Kyle looked at them, Bebe flushed.

"NO!" Stan yelped from across the room before suddenly subsiding, a dull flush rising up his face.

That gay bastard who…I totally agreed with.

The entire class turned to look at Kyle. No one had ever been this direct with him before. Sure there had been insinuations and overtures, but no one had managed to ask him outright. Stan was always in the way and Kyle was frustratingly oblivious.

"Um – why?" Kyle asked.

The entire class groaned as one and Wendy – obviously unhinged from Stan's latest betrayal against heterosexuality – rushed up to Kyle. Stan stood as if to protect him but sank down under Wendy's glare.

"THAT'S IT, KYLE!" Wendy shrieked, slamming her hands. "It can't stand this anymore! Two Months! Two Fucking Months! We've tried to tell you. We've given hints. We've tried – everything! But you're so – so FUCKING OBTUSE!"

"Hey!" Kyle started.

"SHUT UP!" Wendy wailed. "You're incredibly hot! Everyone in this school is in love with you! That's why Bebe asked you on a date – because you're incredibly, unbelievably, good-looking! Like heavenly, lick you all over, screw you silly hot! Stan's been stupid over you since last year." Her face broke down and she started to cry. Kyle looked horrified. It was…really funny. "YOU STOLE MY BOYFRIEND, KYLE BROFLOVSKI!" She ran from the room, sobbing.

Kyle stood up and looked around the room. "Is this…" he hesitated. "true?"

"YES!" The entire class yelled. The teacher even looked him straight in the eye and nodded.

Kyle blinked once, twice and then turned and walked calmly from the room.

Stan leapt up as soon as he left and ran out of the room. In the commotion that followed, I jumped up and followed. I wanted to see who Stan would run after: the ex-girlfriend or the boy he claimed – not – to love.

Ha, I knew it. He went after Kyle's retreating form, following the glimpse of red hair into the boy's bathroom. I followed suspiciously. I wasn't going to let fucking Stan "Gaydard" Marsh take advantage of Kyle in his time of fucking need. I slipped into the bathroom after Stan and silently hid myself in one of the stalls before either Stan or Kyle could see me. I drew my feet up to my chest and settled on the toilet seat to listen.

"Kyle," Stan called, poking through stalls, "Where are you?"

I held my breath as he came near my stall but Kyle finally answered him. He was in the stall next to me.

"Kyle?" Stan said softly, entering the stall. I pressed up against the stall wall and peered through the crack. Stan was hovering over Kyle, absentmindedly stroking his hair. Kyle wasn't exactly crying, but his eyes were watery and he and Stan were having a low, whispered conversation.

"But I don't understand." Kyle kept whispering.

Stan sighed and sat next to Kyle on the toilet seat. "You really are good-looking Kyle. I don't know how to drum that into your head or how to say it so you'll understand, but really, most of the school is madly in love with you."

"Oh," Kyle muttered, "That's so weird." He snorted and then paled rapidly. "Uh – Stan…um – you don't really–"

"No," Stan said really quickly, "I don't. I mean I like you. But, you know, not like that. I mean…shut up."

"What are you talking about?" Kyle asked, sounding charmingly amused.

I froze in horror. I might be able to buy that Stan had no feelings for Kyle; after all if he wasn't admitting it now, then he never would, but what if Kyle liked Stan?

That – that horrible Jewish bastard, cheating on our nonexistent relationship with that moralistic shit-weed Marsh. I hated-

"I mean we're just friends. Super-best friends, yeah-" there was a pause and Stan added, "Dude we seriously need to stop calling ourselves that, but anyway, it's like you're my best friend. I don't – I don't care what anyone says or thinks. That'll never change." Then Stan's voice grew softer and more gentle. "But, you know, if you like, like me, like me then-" Stan swallowed. "Then we'll deal, because nothing matters more than-"

Kyle laughed. "Stan – um – no offense, but I don't have a crush on you. You're like the straightest guy I know. I mean, yeah, you're sensitive and all-"

"Why doesn't anyone appreciate that?" Stan wondered out loud.

"But you're straight and I don't know what I am and like, you're my best friend. Dating you, kissing you…" Kyle wrinkled his nose up and now that he had decided that Stan was repulsive to him it was adorable again. "Just…"

"Ick." They both finished at the same time, grinning at each other.

"You should…you know, go after Wendy." Kyle finally said. "Let her know that we're not…" Kyle made a vague jabbing motion with his hand and trailed off.

Stan leapt up. "Yeah," he said already distracted by the thought. "I should – well, bye."

Kyle laughed softly as he sprinted out of the bathroom, but continued to kneel on the toilet. The smile slowly dropped off his face and he frowned slowly, examining his hands and feet.

"I don't look any different." he whispered softly to himself.

That was the last straw. I swooped into his stall, banging the door open.

"Cartman?" Kyle said, looking surprised.

We stared at each other for maybe a minute. Then I did the stupidest thing of all time.

I kissed him.

When I realized what I was doing I pulled back immediately. I was horrified. My body had moved without permission from my mind. Was that a medical condition? I scrutinized Kyle's face. He looked shocked. Maybe he would pass it off as a dream? Could I use the medical condition excuse if he didn't?

"Uh – Cartman…what was that?" Kyle asked, looking dumbfounded…and cute – I couldn't seem to let go of that.

I thought fast. "Nothing."

"What?" Kyle asked, bewildered. "Cartman, you kissed me."

I sputtered – damn it – but I had to follow through. "No I didn't. Have you been sniffing at the hallucinogenic chemicals again?"

Kyle wrinkled his nose, that adorably confused look crossing his face once again. Maybe he'd actually buy this.

"Cartman! I know you kissed me! I was right here!" Kyle yelled.

Well, stupidity was never one of Kyle's traits.

There was nothing else I could do. I kneed him in the groin and ran. "You'll never catch me! I'll be on the next plane to Chile before your groin stops hurting!" I yelled as I stumbled out of the bathroom and…into the janitor, knocking dirty mop water everywhere.

I ended up getting detention afterschool for the rest of the week, but at least I didn't have to face Kyle again.

Kenny

I had a plan. It was very deep and involved and totally like thought-provoking. I was going to get Kyle to fall in love with me. And, remember, there was a plan.

Alright, alright, all I had was a doodle involving two stick figures frenching but it was a start.

Step One: Find out if Kyle was even interested in guys.

So I asked him. It was around Christmas time and the cold weather made Kyle's skin shine healthily. He was by his locker watching Cartman try to sneak by him in a trench coat and trilby. He'd been doing that for months now. Did he really think that no one saw him?

"Kyle," I said deciding to be straight-forward. "Hi." Well, not too straight-forward.

Kyle jumped and turned to face me. He's been jumpy ever since we let him in on the fact that he's beautiful. Sometimes I catch him peering at himself out of the corner of his eyes like he's trying so very hard to see what everyone else sees. It makes me want to hug him and then kiss him and then screw him and then – well you get the picture.

I took a deep breath. "Would you sleep with a guy?"

Kyle looked surprised by my question and took it in stride. After all I was Kenny.

"Like a regular person or like Beckham?" Kyle asked, following me outside.

I snorted, taking his book-bag from him and swinging it over my own shoulders. He let me which made me do a little happy-dance inside but remained focused on the question. "A regular person. Anyone would do Beckham. Even Stan and he's-"

"The straightest person on the planet." Kyle said dryly. We smiled at each other. Funny how Stan had changed from the biggest gaywad on the planet into the straightest man ever when he finally got back together with Wendy.

Kyle shrugged. "I guess. If it was the right person. Yeah. Sure."

I let out a mental whoop. Step One: Completed.

Step Two: …I had nothing.

I mean, it should have been easy. I knew that he wasn't adverse to the idea of being with a male, but this was Kyle. Regardless of my first thoughts and everyone else's admonitions, I knew that I couldn't just hop into bed with him.

I had to woo him…or something.

"You – uh – want to come over to the bar later on?" I asked.

Kyle looked at me lightly. "I can't. I have a lot of homework to do and tonight is Jew camp recruiting. I need to-"

"Come on, Kyle," I said easily, "It won't be just you and me. There'll be tons of kids from school. Bebe, Clyde, I think Cartman's coming, Craig, Tweek-"

"Cartman's coming?" Kyle had a mysterious look on his face.

"Yeah," I said, slightly confused. "Is that okay?"

Kyle hesitated, looking down at his shoes. When he looked up, there was a bright determined look in his eyes. "Yeah. I'll come."

I saw Kyle the moment he entered. I was laughing and throwing back shots with Cartman at the bar, a trench-coat cloaked figure at my side, when he walked it. He was shifting nervously from side-to-side, but he smiled brilliantly when he saw me on the bar stool.

"What he doing here?" Cartman suddenly hissed.

I looked at him. He had gone white, studiously looking away and convulsively tapping his foot against the stool. The hand clutching the shot glass had gone white.

"I invited him," I told him, turning to look back at Kyle who was weaving his way nearer.

"Without Stan or Ike?" Cartman squeaked out.

I rolled my eyes. "Stan's on a date with Wendy and Ike's too young to hang out here. Besides, I wanted time alone with him" I added, my voice dropping an octave lower.

"You – you can't!" Cartman said, slamming the glass down and grabbing my arm.

I shook him free and started off towards Kyle. "Fuck off, Cartman." I was tired of people telling me what I could and could not do – that I couldn't…well fuck them – I wasn't going to hurt him.

Kyle met me halfway and smiled at me. "Hey," he said easily. Then he paused. "Do you – do you mind if I talk to Cartman for a second." He fumbled for an excuse. "I – I need to ask him a question about class."

My world tightened for a minute and then I forced it away. "Sure, just don't keep me waiting too long." I didn't wait for an answer; I turned and stalked towards a booth with a bottle of tequila.

I watched Kyle hesitantly walk up to Cartman with an odd look on his face. Cartman rebuffed him and Kyle tightened his jaw and tried again. It was like he was talking to a block of wood. I unscrewed the tequila and took a large gulp. Fuck Cartman. Fuck Kyle. Fuck stupid, idiotic, South fucking Park.

I was mostly drunk by the time Kyle wandered back over to me with an upset look on his face. I gestured him closer: "Drink," I slurred.

"No thanks." Kyle said, and then, looking concerned, he brushed my blond hair out of my eyes and rubbed my neck gently. "I think you've had enough, Kenny. Do you want me to take you home?"

I snorted and pushed the bottle into his hands. "Drink," I said again. "It'll make you feel better. Looser."

With one last distraught look at Cartman, Kyle lifted the bottle to his lips. "Yeah," he mumbled, "Yeah, sure."

A half-an-hour later Kyle was a warm, drunken body curled up under my arm, then in the hollow of my shoulder, and finally in my lap, leaning solidly against my chest. I tilted his face towards mine and touched him lightly – cheeks, lips, hair. He shuddered and I kissed him. Ten minutes later I had wrapped him in my jacket and was herding him towards the door.

I felt Cartman's eyes on us as we left, cold, dark, and wanting.

I should have felt bad about it, I guess. Taking advantage of one of your best friends while he was drunk and so – completely – naïve is a horrible thing to do…especially to someone like Kyle who had never made me – or anyone else – feel like trailer trash or at all any different from him. He was there though, and he was the sort of boy that I wasn't going to get again in a town like South Park.

He was there and he was willing, and he wasn't saying no. He was definitely saying yes. That was all I wanted.

I hated myself.

It was sort of like screwing a human cat, if that makes sense. Shy and nervous and lovely of course, but really, really…flexible. I pressed him harder into the mattress trying to pull just a little of whatever Kyle had that made him so…different into myself, but I was moving quicker perhaps than Kyle wanted because he made a low sound, scared. And then I remembered that this wasn't some one-night–stand I had coerced into my bed for a night. This was Kyle. I stopped kissing him and looked into his face.

And I knew right then: he didn't love me.

Well, no. He loved me. There was complete trust on his face as he closed his eyes and stretched, relaxing as I softened my touch – made him moan. And he clung to me, gasping when I entered him. He let me kiss his nose to make him laugh. But that's it. Just trust, just kindness…just friendship.

I held him tightly after we both finished and let his gasping breaths peter into sleep. He was lovely, but he wasn't mine. Nothing in this fucking shit-hole of a town was mine but my four friends and the bonds we shared. And now I might have ruined one of them or even two of them by taking what definitely didn't belong to me.

But maybe belonged to someone else.

He was gone when I woke in the morning and I realized, sitting among cooling sheets that I didn't want to do this anymore.

Kyle

I don't really understand how this happened. I really just don't. Stan thinks that I was so sure that I'd be an ugly kid that I somehow convinced myself that I was…but aren't I? I thought…I don't know, that someday someone would look past the ugliness and then I'd have someone who I was sure liked me for me.

But now I was creeping out of bedrooms and having sex with Kenny and it had all happened so fast that I could barely comprehend it.

"Hey, have fun last night?"

I froze. Cartman was sitting on Kenny's front stoop, looking like he hadn't slept at all. Had he been here all night? Listening to us – me – moan and – and –

"Well?" Cartman bit out, "I've heard the stories. Is he really that big? Did he-"

"Shut up!" I yelled at him. "Don't – don't look at me that way – as if I betrayed you. I tried to talk with you last night. I tried – I tried-"

"I what should I have done?" Cartman yelled back. "You were with him!"

"You should have stopped us!" I screamed. "Should have never let us leave. But you did! You just – you let us – let us – and then we – I-" Suddenly I realized that I was sobbing and there was this low keening moan building and building in the back of my throat and I just couldn't – I just couldn't do this in front of Cartman.

Suddenly I was the awkward boy with the jew-fro and braces and dorky glasses who no one liked again and I just ran.

Somehow I ended up at Stan's and not my own home. I curled into his arms sobbing. I kept moaning, "I broke it; I broke it, I broke it!" until Stan finally calmed me down enough to ask what the hell I was talking about.

"Me and Cartman and me and Kenny. I broke it!" I wailed.

"Just shut up for a minute and start at the beginning!" Stan finally snapped.

So I did. I told me about the kiss and Kenny's invitation and the…the sex and even about the horrible screaming match I had with Cartman.

"Do you…do you think they both hate me?" I whispered.

"Kyle," Stan said gently "Cartman loves you."

The words were a shock.

"He…" Stan paused, trying to find the words. "I think…he's all twisted up inside. We all are. That's why Kenny slept with you – sleeps with everybody and why you constantly degrade yourself and I have…image issues. Cartman…he can't say it. He can't show it to you directly. But…I know. He does. He has since sophomore year."

"Sophomore…" I trailed off. "But – but that was before-"

"Yeah," Stan said softly "Totally. It's like the apocalypse, man,"

It took me two days to work up the courage to meet Kenny again. And even then I called at least twenty times before finally getting an answering machine I could talk to. We met at our old elementary school playground and without a word, we climbed to the top of the old metal jungle gym, sitting at the every top.

"Kenny," I started.

"I'm leaving," Kenny interrupted.

"What – I-" I paused, floundering. Then, in a small voice: "Is it…is it because of me?"

Kenny looked at me calmly and brushed a stray curl out of my eye. "No. And yes. I just – I'm sorry. I never should have done that. You deserve better."

I grabbed his hand. "So do you, Kenny." I told him fiercely.

Kenny smiled dully. "I know. That's why I can't stay. I need to – I need to just…go."

Impulsively, I leaned forward and kissed him. Surprised, he caught me around the waist and ended up falling over to the ground. We both ended up in the snow laughing. I kissed him once more, one last time, long, slow, and sweet. I smiled at him.

"Hey," Kenny said throatily, "You should go get him." Kenny pointed behind me. There was a large figure in a trench coat and trilby walking in the other direction as fast as he could. His shoulders were stiff.

I grinned at Kenny one more time and jumped up and raced after Cartman. Catching him, I swung him around and kissed him hard. When he finally pulled back, he was dazed.

"Why?" he whispered, "Kenny – I thought-"

I cut him off. "Because, you saw me before anyone else bothered to look. You always saw me."

The End