Author: Cola Zitron
Series/Fandom: South Park
Disclaimer: South Park or anything related to it does not belong to me
Comment: Seeing as my mother tongue is not English, but German, it may be that I used some expressions in the wrong way. I hope this doesn't disturb the flow of reading...
Dye, Hair, Dye
Kyle was fuming. Positively fuming. Now, that in itself was not out of the ordinary. It wasn't even unusual or especially strange for the teen to be very much enraged. On the contrary, it was actually a very normal thing for Kyle Broflovski to be mad at something or someone or other.
You see, while Kyle hated being any sort of cliché with a passion that rivalled "Gone with the Wind", he fulfilled a particular one completely; that of the red-head's temper. Of course growing up with the very much infuriating Eric Cartman might have something to do with that, but truth be told, Kyle had ALWAYS been very short-tempered.
No, the fact that Kyle was clenching his fists so hard, they actually shook, frowned so much he must have had a head ache from it and seemed to be short of boiling over – in one word, he was fuming – was not what surprised Kenny. It was rather the fact that Kyle was fuming at his doorstep.
Kyle fuming was normal. Kyle fuming because of Cartman was normal. Kyle fuming over at Stan's was normal. Normally, fuming Kyle didn't have anything to do with Kenny. So the fact that now he had, totally threw Kenny off and was the number one reason to be wary of this fuming Kyle. After all, this wasn't normal. And in South Park that usually lead to deaths. Kenny's death, in most cases.
The scissors in Kyle's hand did nothing to calm Kenny's paranoia. Nor did thrusting them in his direction.
"Woah, dude, watch it!" Instinctively he took a step back and eyed the murderous instrument warily.
"Cut it off." Kyle barely even opened his mouth to force those words out and it seemed to take immense amounts of self-control to not yell at Kenny but keep his voice levelled.
"Huh?" was Kenny's not all too intelligent answer.
"Please. Cut. It. Off." If anything, Kyle's voice seemed even more strained than before and apart from the intense rage in Kyle's eyes, Kenny believed he saw hints of something else there; desperation. Add desperation to a raging madman and Kenny will make a run for it. After all that was the number one way to ensure disaster would happen. And Kenny, having grown rather tired of dying, had tried his damnest to stay away from disaster as much as possible. Which was fairly difficult, considering the town he lived in.
But then, this madman - a raging, hormonal teenager to top it off - wasn't just any threat to his health, it was one of his best friends. A friend Kenny happened to like a lot.
"Dude, I would. If you'd just tell me WHAT you want cut off", Kenny implored, hoping he didn't anger his friend further by not being telepathic. When Kyle was like this there really was no telling. And in Kenny's own interest it was best not to anger him further.
"My fucking hair," Kyle gritted out and his frown seemed to deepen – if such a thing was even possible.
Kyle waited patiently – well, as patiently as he could right now, anyway – still at Kenny's doorstep for his hooded friend to do something, say something, anything basically.
"Why didn't you go to the hair dresser's then?"
"Because my Mom bribed him and he won't do it." Kyle's eye brow twitched dangerously and Kenny successfully suppressed a snicker. That sounded just like something Sheila Broflovski would do to make sure that her little Bubbeleh did exactly what she told him to. And as she found his curls 'adorable' Kyle was not to do anything about them. So he had hidden them for the biggest part of his life. Currently under a black beanie.
"Stan's not home?" Because, really, Stan is Kyle's best friend and shouldn't he have gone to him with such a life altering request?
"Stan's a pussy. He's too scared of my Mom."
This time Kenny allowed himself to snort in laughter. He figured Kyle wouldn't mind that much right now that he laughed at Stan. He was probably very pissed off at him right now.
"Figures." Though Kenny really could relate to the feeling of not wanting to oppose The Sheila, he would have thought that the friendship between Kyle and Stan was stronger than that. Or maybe, it was so strong that Stan had trusted Kyle to forgive him if he didn't do it.
Kenny lowered his eyes and sighed internally. That was a risk he couldn't dare to take. Sure, Kyle would forgive him eventually, hell he even forgave Cartman, but Kenny had no guarantee that it wouldn't alter their friendship if he just shut the door in Kyle's face.
"My parents aren't home", Kenny said and stepped aside, making room for Kyle to enter. A wave of relief seemed to crash down over Kyle and wash the anger right out of his system. He closed his eyes for a moment and relaxed his muscles, even letting a small smile ghost over his lips.
"Thank you," he silently answered as he stepped past Kenny and made his way through the house to Kenny's room. He dropped his school bag onto the floor and turned the scissors in his hands. Now what?
"If we're gonna do this, we might as well do it properly." Kenny leaned against the door frame to his room and looked a little amused by Kyle's sudden lack of enthusiasm. The red head had probably used up all his energy on his rage from before.
"That translates as 'wash your damn hair'", he informed the rather immobile boy that stood in the middle of his room. Kenny chuckled to himself when Kyle muttered "I knew that" and passed him to get to the bath room. Figuring that Kyle would have a hard time locating all the necessary equipment – meaning shampoo and conditioner, he would have to somehow straighten the curls to cut them after all – Kenny followed his friend across the hall. The scene that played out in front of him confirmed his suspicions. Kyle had shed his shirt and beanie and dropped both onto the basin and now seemed to be a little lost and scratched the side of his neck in contemplation, trying to figure out where in this mess he was supposed to start looking.
Kenny just sighed and got on his knees pulling the two bottles out of the cabinet beneath the sink. After-Rage-Kyle seemed to be lacking initiative he found out and thus gave his back a little push in the direction of the bath tub.
"Bend over," he ordered and started adjusting the temperature of the water running out of the shower head.
"You SO didn't just say that," Kyle gaped at him and started laughing openly at Kenny's shocked expression as realization hit him.
"Get your head out of the gutter and over the bath tub, curly", Kenny grumbled and tried to play it cool while at the same time wondering whether anyone had ever died of embarrassment yet. It sure wouldn't have been any weirder than his other deaths.
Still chuckling to himself a little, Kyle never the less did as Kenny asked of him and got on his knees to hang his head over the bath tub. A few moments later he felt water hit his head.
"Tell me, if it's too hot," Kenny's low voice asked of him and Kyle shook his head a little under the beam of water.
"Nah, it's fine", he answered and let Kenny soak his hair. He could have washed his hair alone, but he wouldn't complain about Kenny doing it. It sure was easier than blindly fumbling for the shampoo bottles and the holder for the shower head in order to be able to soap up his hair. And as Kyle was a little paranoid concerning shampoo and it coming into contact with his eyes, he'd rather search for anything blindly than open his eyes while there was shampoo in such proximity.
When Kenny felt Kyle's hair was wet enough to start with the actual process of shampooing and conditioning, he put the shower head back into the holder and squirted some of the shampoo onto his hand. Rubbing it between his hands, he moved to massage the soap into Kyle's hair.
Trying to wash curled hair was new for him and in the beginning he got his fingers tangled in the red mass of hair a few times, earning him a little wince from Kyle each time he tugged on the strands a little too hard to free his fingers. As soon as the hair was thoroughly coated in shampoo though, it glided far easier through his fingers and Kyle relaxed again.
"Mmm, Kenny", Kyle all but purred, while the blonde focused on massaging his friends scalp the best he could.
"You do it SO good," he snickered and regretted not being able to see Kenny's face, as he was sure that even Kenny managed to blush at something like that.
Instead, Kenny just tugged at his hair, earning him a surprised yelp from Kyle.
"Stop it. You know I didn't mean it like that," Kenny complained. He knew that Kyle would be throwing innuendos left and right for the whole day, if not longer, only to get some sort of reaction out of him. In this respect he was really quite similar to Cartman, even if his provocations were a lot more playful and generally not meant to enrage his target but just to get a reaction of some sort.
"Yeah, yeah, sure you didn't," Kyle teased and gasped when the next time the water hit his head it was cold as ice.
"Kenny!" he complained, earning himself a chuckle from his friend, while he lifted his hands to try and shield his head from the freezing water. That resulted in the water running down his arms and sides, soaking his pants.
"Pussy," Kenny mumbled, but showed mercy and let the water hit the bath tub while he adjusted the temperature back to normal. Kyle took one of his drenched arms off his head and blindly reached out, slapping Kenny's leg as a punishment.
Half an hour later had both boys changed into other sets of Kenny's clothes and Kenny rubbing at his head with a towel to dry his hair from the previous splashing contest. Kyle smiled sheepishly, a towel draped around his shoulders that caught the drops falling from his wet hair as he watched his friend dry his hair and mumble curses under his breath all the while.
"Seriously, dude, that was so uncalled for," Kenny grumbled as he dropped the now wet towel to the floor and turned to face his still smirking friend who sat atop a stool and patiently waited for him to start what he actually came for; a hair cut.
"But it was fun", Kyle grinned.
"And you know, Kenny, I learned something today-"
"No, Kyle, you didn't," Kenny grinned and stopped Kyle before he could fall into another of his (pseudo)-intellectual speeches that would without a doubt point out how sad the world was and how every minute of laughter could contribute to making the world a better place.
"Fine, be that way", Kyle pouted and rolled his eyes. Kenny sighed exasperatedly and grabbed the scissors.
"Can we get this over with while your hair is still wet? I really don't feel like starting over."
"Sure, dude. Just be careful with the ears, I'm rather fond of those.."
"Yeah, I don't think your Mom would let me live if I cut off your hair AND ears", Kenny joked, reached for the comb and started running it through Kyle's hair in order to get it to straighten out a little.
"You'd just have to go into hiding. I'd bring you food, once a week."
"Once a WEEK? Man, your Mom sure is scary, dude."
"Tell me about it."
"So anyway, what do you want me to do with it", Kenny asked, having finished combing Kyle's hair and tugging lightly on it.
"I don't really care so long as most of it is gone afterwards. I don't actually mind it being curly, you know, I'd just prefer it not to be a freakin' afro and more of a Seth-Cohen-Jewfro," Kyle sighed exasperatedly.
"Seth Cohen? You watch that show too much, dude," Kenny chuckled and cocked his head to the side. At least he got the picture. Now, how was he going to go about it…?
"Yeah, well, my Mom actually MADE me watch it, something about showing me how great being Jewish is."
"Did she ever realize that Seth is like, the biggest loser known to mankind or at least his high school on that show?"
"He's not… Well, maybe he's a little obsessed with Summer… and a complete comic and skating nerd… and weirdly affectionate towards Ryan… okay, so he's a pussy… but still, he… kinda gets to you."
"Aw, how cute, little Kylie's in lurve", Kenny teased and cut the first few strands of the magnificently red hair between his fingers.
"Says the guy who wanted me to 'bend over'", Kyle retorted and only resisted the urge to turn his head to smirk at his friend because said friend was handling a pair of scissors rather close to his head at the moment.
"Well, it's not my fault Bebe keeps pointing out how hot your ass is. Sooner or later a guy's bound to notice," Kenny replied and kept happily cutting at Kyle's hair.
"Shut up, Kenny", Kyle growled, in lack of a better response. This earned him a victorious chuckle from his blonde friend.
For a while, neither of the boys said anything, both being a little lost in their respective thoughts and only listening to the sound of the sharp scissors cutting through Kyle's hair as though it weren't even there. The red strands tumbled to around Kyle's feet, who had lowered his head a little and watched the pile of hair around the stool he was sitting on grow bigger and bigger. He couldn't help the smile that tugged at his lips, and frankly didn't want to suppress it either.
He was finally getting rid of his ridiculous hair. He was finally changing his mother's illusion of still being her little Bubbeleh. He was finally showing her that he didn't need her permission for something as silly as a hair cut, he'd just do it anyway. At the moment he felt like marching up to her and laughing straight at her.
In your face, Mom. Ha!
But that, he knew, would be the end of him. And so he was content sitting on top the fragile stool in the McCormick's messy bathroom, smiling to himself while letting Kenny mess up his hair. Because, really, while he didn't think that Kenny would mess up – he did his own hair cuts, after all – he wouldn't have cared if he did. He had a lot of hats, beanies and other head wear to hide his hair under.
"D'you really want it to be as short as Seth's?" Kenny asked, stepping around Kyle to look at him.
"I want it gone, Kenny."
"Yeah, I get that, I'm just saying… you know, it straightened out a little anyway and I think the curls kinda suit you…"
"You're just scared of my Mom, too."
"I'm cutting it, am I not? I'm just asking you whether you want to reconsider, dude. You're supposed to feel good walking around with this on your head, right?" Kenny pointed out.
"Considerate? Nice? Thoughtful? Kind?"
"Those are mostly synonyms, Kenny. But yeah, it is…"
With neither boy knowing how to continue this conversation the moments of silence between them stretched. And while this silence wasn't completely uncomfortable, it was almost tender… which in turn made it very awkward for the two teenage boys.
"So, anyway… d'you want bangs?" Kenny asked, shifting slightly on his feet. Kyle gladly caught on to the offered change of topic and shrugged his shoulders while nodding at the same time.
"Sure, I guess. You're the one with the hair experience, dude."
"Hey, don't insult my hair!"
"You're the one who wants to get rid of it!"
"Well, that's okay, it's my hair; I can hate it if I want to."
"You're making about as much sense as a girl," Kenny answered and rolling his eyes resumed the task of cutting Kyle's hair. It was so much easier to deal with the unpredictable red-head when they were bickering. As long as he kept the teasing playful, but constant, it was far easier to predict what Kyle would do next.
As soon as the mood shifted, Kenny found himself in situations that he always felt Stan to be more fitting to deal with. After all, that's why he was Kyle's best friend, right? Stan could deal with Kyle being surprisingly … tender without creeping out. Sometimes he wondered whether Stan felt like a boyfriend and not his best friend, too in these moments. There was just something about Kyle that could have you thinking you were in love with him in a matter of seconds. And up until now, Kenny had no idea how to resist that Kyle-ish charm.
"Who're you calling a girl, pussy?"
"You, obviously, Kylie."
"Shut it and work for your money, why don't you?"
"Oh, you're paying me? Now THAT leaves us with a whole new situation."
"Um…" Kyle's reaction showed that he didn't catch on to the fact that Kenny was still joking. He might be poor and money was a very convincing argument to get him to do things he otherwise wouldn't do, but still, he had his pride. And really, he hadn't planned on charging Kyle any money for this. Clearly, Kyle hadn't been in a state of mind to be thinking about that when he had come here. And as Kenny suspected that he had come straight from Stan's, he probably had forgotten that, for Kenny, money was an issue.
"Do you want me to pay you?" Kyle asked, a little unsure. Now that Kenny had mentioned it, he actually felt really bad for not thinking about that.
"I'm not your bitch, Kyle. You don't have to pay me." It was supposed to be a joke, but didn't quite come out as one.
"I know that. I just… I don't know, I'd feel bad…"
"You wouldn't if I were Stan, would you?" Again, that sounded a little bitterer than it was supposed to.
"No, but… with Stan it's different."
"Then just pretend I'm Stan. … On second thought, don't. That might get scary." Finally, Kenny heard his voice take on the teasing, joking tone he wanted it to have.
"What are you implying here?"
"Me? Implying? I wouldn't dream of such a thing, Kylie", Kenny continued to tease, glad to be back in familiar territory, while stepping in front of Kyle to get working on his bangs. Since he already, kind of, had some, that was quickly over with and left Kenny with checking his work for details. A few snips here and there and he finally lowered scissors and comb and eyed Kyle warily.
"That bad?" said boy asked, an unsure smile decorating his lips.
"Nah, I'm just getting used to seeing you like this," Kenny grinned back and reached for a hair brush and the hair dryer. Plugging the hair dryer in, he turned back to his friend; now it was his turn to grin sheepishly.
"Of course this would work better if we had a better brush and styling mousse."
Kyle just shrugged. He planned on putting on his beanie anyway, so he really couldn't be bothered. But Kenny seemed to want to do this thoroughly, so why not let the boy have his fun?
"Never mind. I'll just get some on the way home and try it myself."
"You do that," Kenny consented and started to blow-dry Kyle's hair. While Kenny pulled a corner of his lower lip into his mouth in concentration and hoped he wasn't pulling on Kyle's hair too hard, Kyle started to notice – again – why he hated blow-drying his hair so much: he really didn't like the heat.
"Okay, all done," Kenny announced, stopped the hairdryer and moved to unplug it and give Kyle room to look at himself in the mirror. Kyle stepped over the sea of hair on the floor and felt his breath stop involuntarily at the sight of the boy who looked at him through the smooth surface of the mirror.
Apart from the general lack of hairstyle his hair had suffered from before, it was now also a great deal shorter and nowhere near the afro he dreaded every time he stepped into and out of the shower. The bangs fell a little below his eyebrows, almost reaching his eyes and made his rather slim face appear a little rounder. Unable to resist the urge, Kyle reached up and fluffed the shorter strands of his hair.
"Kenny, you're a genius."
"Why, thank you, Kyle, for finally acknowledging my abilities," Kenny said, in a perfect Cartman imitation. Kyle's laughter rang through the bathroom as he turned back around, still groping his hair. Kenny just smiled and left the bathroom, motioning to his friend to follow him back into his own room.
"So, how do I repay you?" Kyle asked, once Kenny had taken a seat on his mattress. He seemed to mean it, too.
"Didn't I tell you to treat me like you would Stan?"
"No, you told me to forget about it, for fear of what might come of that."
"Oh, right, I forgot about that. Well, still, I don't want to charge you. Just don't scare me with these anymore," Kenny joked and handed Kyle his scissors.
"Thanks, Kenny." Kyle smiled and reached for his bag, placing the scissors inside. His clothes, which he spared a short look, still appeared to be soaked. No way was he walking home in these. Kenny seemed to have noticed.
"Keep mine and give 'em back tomorrow", he told Kyle, and walked towards the front door with Kyle.
"Thanks again. You're a really good friend."
There he was again. This tender, affectionate Kyle Kenny didn't know how to deal with. He made his heart flutter and the way Kyle smiled seemed to tell his brain to crush on the boy like half the female student body. And that one scary teacher.
Of course the sudden awkwardness didn't go unnoticed and both boys hastily looked for something to do. Kyle slipped on his shoes and Kenny settled on simply watching him. Only when Kyle hat put on his coat and was tugging his hair under the beanie did he interfere.
He reached out and tugged the strand back out from behind Kyle's ear.
"Don't. It's cute."
Kyle's eyes widened significantly, but Kenny was sure he wasn't even close to as shocked as Kenny was himself. He quickly drew his hand back and cursed himself internally. Damnit, why was he so… un-immune to Kyle in such moments? And why the hell had he just done that? That had never happened to him before.
"I… I mean…" he tried to stutter out an explanation.
"It's okay, I get it," Kyle assured and tried a smile, albeit a shaky one. Kyle probably really understood. The only problem with that was that Kenny had actually meant what he had said. He hadn't meant to say it, but he still meant it. The red curls pouring out from under the black fabric did make Kyle kind of cute.
"Well, I… I've got errands to run for my Mom and I really don't want to give her another reason to be mad at me."
"Sure, dude. See you at the bus stop tomorrow."
"Yeah, see you."
And with that, Kyle was out the door and hurried down the street.
It was the same old procedure at the bus stop. It still amazed Kenny that their routine hadn't changed from elementary school until now, when they were all high schoolers. For the longest while they just stood next to each other, both trying to fight the tiredness that still threatened to take over.
"Say, did you happen to meet Kyle yesterday?" Stan innocently asked as soon as he had finished yawning. Even if it hadn't been Kenny to cut his hair the day before, the blonde would have immediately guessed from Stan's tone of voice that he feared that he had pissed Kyle off again. Seeing how easy it was to do that, it really didn't surprise Kenny that Stan seemed to be worried. And actually knowing the circumstances it surprised him even less. Kyle had been beyond pissed when he had shown up at Kenny's the prior day.
"Why do you ask?" Kenny asked back, wanting to watch Stan squirm for a little bit for a reason he himself didn't quite get.
Before Stan could elaborate on his point of view on the whole hair-ordeal, Cartman showed up and made his marvellous presence known to them and anyone else who was unfortunate enough to be within hearing distance.
"Oh my god, you guys, you won't guess what my Mom gave me as a surprise gift yesterday."
"No, Cartman, we won't. And frankly, we don't care, either." Kyle skipped the greeting and got straight to giving Cartman a piece of his mind. Only afterwards did he spare the other two of his friends a "hey" and a nod of head, while all Cartman got was another glare.
"Well, Jew, I wasn't about to tell you, anyway. I was just talking to my friends here."
"You don't have exclusive rights to them, fatass," Kyle snorted.
"Oh, but you do?" Cartman challenged and started a little glaring contest.
Stan and Kenny who found themselves in between their two arguing friends sighed simultaneously and wondered for the umpteenth time what would happen if they didn't stand where they did and actually let Kyle and Cartman at each other. Kyle would without a doubt win a fist fight; the only question they asked themselves was how far he was actually willing to go. Having no answer to that question scared them both enough to stay where they were. In the early morning neither of them was up to dealing with a physically violent Kyle.
The yellow school bus pulling up in front of them was once again considered a blessing, as it provided a few moments of peace, when they all climbed the stairs and found seats. Stan and Kyle, naturally, sat down next to each other and Stan's little smile at that told Kenny everything he needed to know in order to shake his head internally at Stan's stupidity. As if Kyle would ever hold a grudge against him for longer than a day.
Kenny flopped down next to Leo who occupied the seats behind his two friends, forcing Cartman to sit down in the row behind them.
"Morning fellas", their ever cheerful and sometimes still so painfully platinum blonde friend greeted them, earning himself a "good morning" in return.
"Hey, Butters, you won't guess what my Mom gave me yesterday as a surprise present."
"Oh? What was it, Eric?"
"You really don't have to listen to him, Leo", Kenny told him, knowing that the other blonde would anyway. Cartman was really the only one who called him "Butters" anymore nowadays. Aloud, anyway. Somehow, he would always stay Butters, but when he had asked them to call him "Leo" instead of "Butters" they had decided to humour him and by now had grown used to it.
"… You look kind of different. But I really can't tell why." Stan's observation turned Kenny's attention back to his other two friends.
Stan was frowning a little while he studied Kyle, obviously trying to find out WHAT made his long-term super best friend seem so different today when he wore his favourite pair of dark blue jeans and the same dark grey coat he always wore. Nothing about him looked out of the ordinary but somehow the air around him was different.
Kyle seemed to be unable to resist the temptation and threw Kenny a quick look, sharing a secretive smile with him that of course couldn't go unnoticed by Stan. He let his eyes wander from Kyle to Kenny and back again a few times before a little light bulb in his head seemed to be switched on and his gaze was fixed on Kenny. He looked a little incredulous and… offended?
"Did you cut his hair?" he asked sceptically. Before Kenny or Kyle got the chance to answer, however, Cartman butted in.
"What? The Jew got rid of the ridiculous amount of dead cells on top of his head?" He laughed a little at his own joke and ignored the visible signs of Kyle's temper rising.
"Butters, grab his hat from him", Cartman commanded to which Kyle immediately clutched his beanie – the same one he had worn yesterday, but his hair was tucked in safely – to his head.
"I-I don't know, Eric, Kyle doesn't seem to want that…" Leo objected.
"Damnit, Butters, that is the whole point!" Cartman cursed and lunged forward over his blonde friend and somehow managed to snatch the black piece of fabric from both of Kyle's hands.
Kenny didn't think he'd be surprised. After all, he had been the one to give Kyle the hair cut. Then again, he hadn't been the one who had dyed it brown.
For a few moments even Cartman didn't have anything to say.
"Man, I bet the bitch you call your Mom gave you hell for this", Cartman snickered. Kenny thought he was probably the only one who noticed that the direct insult to Kyle's hair was missing in that sentence. Well, maybe Leo had caught on to it, too.
"Shut it, fatass," Kyle shot in his direction. His facial expression was somewhere between a glare and a pout and in all honesty looked rather comical. Still, no one other that Cartman dared to openly laugh at it. Sometimes, Kenny thought, it must be fun being Cartman and not giving a rat's ass about other people's feelings.
"It looks great on you, Kyle. The colour really suits you," Stan directed Kyle's attention back onto him, earning him a radiant smile from his friend.
"Y-Yeah! It's really pretty!" Leo agreed, earning weird glances and a few chuckles. Well, he never really cared about what people thought of the things he said. Or maybe, he was just too naïve to get that his words could be taken the wrong way.
"Oh, well, that's our dear little Kylie, always the pretty one…" Kenny teased and grinned at his friend's glare. It was a bit strange for Kyle not to come up with a comeback, but then again, maybe he just didn't want to pointlessly insult him. "Shut it, fatass" could hardly be considered a comeback and was Kyle's last resort when he couldn't think of anything else to throw Cartman's way. Seeing as that wouldn't quite work with Kenny, maybe that was the reason he kept quiet.
Kyle went on to retell to Stan how the procedure of cutting his hair had worked out yesterday in every detail and Kenny decided to tune out. After all, he had been there with him, doing the cutting. And it wouldn't be too long until they reached their school now anyway. When they did, the boys nodded to each other in greeting and separated to get to their respective classes.
Whenever Kenny saw Kyle later on that day, he was either rushing to one of his classes or surrounded by people complimenting him on his "new look" when actually all he had done was to cut and dye his hair. Kenny found it rather amusing. And from the way Kyle lit up the whole corridor with his smile, he guessed the former red head enjoyed it as well.
Smiling to himself at being partially responsible for the fact that Kyle was winning over the other half of the female student body as well, he gave a little wave when he caught Kyle's eye across the hall and continued on towards his English class.
Seeing as Kyle had been rather happy all day long, Kenny was a little confused at finding Kyle sitting outside the school, looking a little gloomy.
"Kyle?" he approached him, wondering why Kyle was even here. He never had classes this late on Thursdays, did he?
"Hm? Oh, hey, Kenny", Kyle replied, lifting his head shortly before letting it fall down again after identifying his friend.
"Whatever happened to the good mood you had all morning, dude?" Kenny wondered aloud and sat down next to Kyle. Most of the students had already left, there were only very few classes that took place at this hour. A few students who hadn't bothered to hurry passed them. Apart from that it was quiet around them and Kenny started to pick a few blades of grass while waiting for Kyle to speak to him.
Again he wondered whether it shouldn't be Stan sitting here on the grass next to Kyle, who was turning his beanie in his hands, obviously deep in thought. This was clearly one of those situations that screamed "Need a best friend. Now"; And that best friend was Stan, not him. So why did he seem to be the one who got to deal with Kyle's mood swings lately?
"Kenny, do you like my hair?" Kyle finally asked. Kenny raised one eyebrow at the odd question and turned his head to look at his friend next to him. Kyle was still staring straight ahead and frankly, Kenny had absolutely no idea what Kyle wanted him to say.
"Dude, I was the one to cut it, remember?" He decided to joke in order to bring a little normalcy back into this unfamiliar situation. But Kyle only sighed and shook his head a little, like he needed to remind himself to be patient.
"I know that. But I'm asking you whether you LIKE it."
Kyle was obviously not just fishing for compliments. First, he had had more than enough of those and second, there would be no need for the borderline emo/goth act if he were.
"Well, yeah, otherwise I'd have done it differently…" Kenny tried, still at a total loss of what Kyle actually wanted. Kyle just sighed exasperatedly. That was seemingly not what he had intended when asking his question. Kenny was thankful when Kyle once again elaborated on his question.
"I want to know whether you like it. Do you think it looks good on me? Does it suit me at all?"
Now where the hell had Kyle caught this case of self-consciousness? Kenny couldn't even begin to understand how the Kyle he had seen a few hours earlier that had gloated in a new found hair-based self-confidence turned into this depressed creature next to him in such a short time. Choosing his words carefully, he answered his friend.
"As I said, dude, I made that hair cut, of course I like it. As for the colour… well… I liked you better as a red head, frankly. I mean, wasn't it kind of like fate that we had all four hair colours in our little group?"
Kenny allowed himself a little smile while he reminisced but still kept a watchful gaze on Kyle. Only when the other boy gave a little smile, too, did he allow himself to relax.
Kenny really didn't know what he was being thanked for, so he just shrugged it off. He contemplated getting up but a nagging feeling at the back of his mind told him that Kyle wasn't quite done yet. And what kind of friend would he be if he just left him like that?
"You know, it's not really nice when everybody keeps complimenting you while at the same time telling you with their subtext that you were ugly before."
"Huh?" That, Kenny really didn't get.
"Well, they were all 'oh Kyle your new hair colour looks so good on you' and I can't help but hear 'good thing you finally got rid of that horrible red'. I know I'm being a pussy about it but still… I actually never minded the red. I mean, it's not that bad of a colour, is it?"
Kenny couldn't resist rolling his eyes at his friend. Kyle was right; he was being a damn girl about all this. It was just a freaking haircut, for God's sake.
"Yeah, you are being a girl about this. Listen, Kyle, you'd be just as handsome if your hair were red or purple or green or any colour you choose. Got that?"
Kyle glanced at him out of the corner of his eye and slowly a small smile started to spread on his lips.
"Yeah, I guess", he finally said and let out a long sigh before staring off into the distance again. But his face had lost the forlorn look.
Kenny got a little annoyed at Kyle for being so damn emotional about all this and at the same time he felt himself responding to it. The fact that he was still sitting here, next to Kyle, just because he assumed the other didn't want to be alone right now, proved that very much.
When Kyle gave another sigh and lowered his gaze to stare at his shoes in front of him, Kenny braced himself on one of his hands and leaned over to Kyle to whisper in his ear.
"I'll help you dye it back to red, okay?"
He didn't even know himself why he was whispering and why he was being so intimate, but when Kyle turned his head slightly, he planted the kiss he didn't even know he had been planning to leave next to Kyle's ear in the corner of his slightly upturned mouth. Kyle's eyes widened in apparent surprise, but he didn't jump back, point, stare or call Kenny names. And that was a good thing, right?
"Okay", Kyle whispered back and his hot breath tickled Kenny's cheek. And Kyle was being all tender again and smiled this affectionate smile of his that had Kenny's mind convinced he just might be crushing on this boy. Kyle's slender fingers wrapping around his own only added fuel to that fire. Kenny shifted his gaze into the distance and tried to make out some sense of all of this; a feat not easily accomplished between the eager beating of his heart and the blood rushing in his ears and drowning out his thoughts.
When they finally stood up, Kyle let go of Kenny's hand but stayed closer than before as they walked next to each other. Kenny couldn't help but wonder what the hell this was supposed to be. But, he thought, he just might like it. Kyle's tentative smile that was thrown his way ever so often only confirmed this suspicion.
"Seriously, Kylie, you can be such a girl sometimes," Kenny just had to point out and the glare he received from the boy walking next to him – what the hell was he to him now? – was more playful than anything else.
"Oh, shut it and bend over", Kyle retorted and grinned at Kenny's scandalized expression.
"What was that just now?" Kenny questioned even though he had understood it perfectly well. Kyle's eyes gleamed with mischief as he grabbed the front of Kenny's hooded sweatshirt and leaned in to give Kenny his kiss back. He missed, and instead of the corner of Kenny's mouth, he let his lips settle fully onto the other's. Then again, maybe that had been his intention all along.
It was chaste and sweet and a blaringly obvious contrast to the words Kyle muttered while he smirked against Kenny's mouth.
"You know you like it, bitch."
Kenny needed a few moments to process that Kyle had just kissed him, really kissed him – what the fuck? – and was now running down the street, giggling, after calling him a bitch – seriously, what the hell?!
"Oh, you'll pay!" he promised and took off to chase after Kyle.
Yes, he thought, he definitely liked this.
A/N: Getting these two together gave me more headache than I would have ever thought xx The changing of scenes in school was intended to be during one day, but actually you can also read it with several days having passed between Kyle's new hair cut and the final scenes.