A/N: Random update or what?
Okay guys I have been CRAVING a good, long, multi-chaptered, complex, well written StanxKyle. I can't even express how badly. I'm having trouble finding any, so I took my want out on this chapter as it seems to be my most popular that I have dropped in this fandom.
…BTW none are actually dropped, it's just that real life gets in the way of my writing fun things.
Seriously, I could also go for some Bunny. Some K2. Some Stenny. *loveslovesloves*
If you suggest to me a Kyman it better be REALLY REALLY REALLY good. I mean SUPER AMZAING PERFECTLY AWESOMELY good. Because I really hate that pairing.
IF YOU HAVE SUGGESTIONS FOR FICS THAT MEET THAT CRITERIA PLEASE PM ME. …I'd rather you didn't review just to solicit your own writing. I would be happy to read it, but be kind: Review this and then PM me with fic suggestions.
Also, next chapter, which is already about 1/3 of the way completed, is when the story really takes off. It's like… one of the main turning points or something. Stick with it, review, tell me your thoughts and feelings and all that jolly stuff.
Chapter 5: Kaleidoscope
It was the envy that did me in. The most lethal emotion of them all, infectious like a worm; white and slick, embedding itself into the deepest part of my gut and feeding off every respectable ounce of sensibility I possessed. It was an incurable disease, an invisible parasite, and it turned me completely, poisonously against one of the most important people in my life.
Make no mistake: I loved Stan. I had always loved Stan, and that would never go away. That was true no matter how it looked from the outside, when glares and profanity directed toward him became more and more frequent as the weeks turned to months and months into years, all melding together in a black kaleidoscope of malice and twisted resentment. And Kyle was at the center of it all, unaware and unaffected by the dark patterns sifting and changing, creating a gothic, stained glass haven around my heart that he couldn't escape and Stan couldn't penetrate.
But as my subconscious premeditatedly waged war against Stan, it did nothing to disrupt the way time continued to delicately stitch a gold-laced bond between them, interweaving their souls until their hearts had become one seamless fabric. And when their bodies followed suit, coming together and interlocking in the most intimate and loving of ways… that'swhen the sheath of glass suspending my abhorrence of Stan and preserving the fragile structure of our friendship suddenly exploded, shards of metallic fury and blood-red hatred swallowing my tolerance and dissolving my sensibly conserved geniality. It was suddenly all so clear, so vivid.
Stan was the enemy. Stan was shit. Stan no right to hold Kyle's heart, to touch him, to kiss him, to take his body to pleasure his own. He didn't deserve Kyle; he'd done nothing to earn his love. He was nothing, and yet he was everything. Everything Kyle wanted. Everything Kyle needed…
And everything that stood in my way.
X X X
Three years later, on an especially shitty afternoon, Butter's soft cries of pleasure traveled through the walls of the apartment we shared with Kyle and Stan. I froze as I came through the door, already tugging off my parka.
"My words exactly," Kyle called out to me.
I wrenched the rest of my parka off and flung it at the coat rack, too excited Kyle was already home to care where it landed. I followed the direction of his voice into the living room. He was sprawled on his stomach along the couch in a thermal long sleeve and loose-fitting jeans. A text book was sprawled out in front of him, green highlighter between his fingers.
"Who's in there?" I asked, pointing toward the hallway, although Kyle didn't bother looking up.
"Craig," he said. "Who else?"
Craig, that asshole. I had no idea what Butters sudden fascination with him was, but I wasn't extremely pleased by it. This had been going on for weeks; you'd think one of them was liable to get bored eventually.
"Sounds like we're going to have to invest in some earplugs." I said.
"Yeah, no shit. Try listening to that for nearly an hour," Kyle said, pausing to highlight a sentence. "I hope Stan gets home soon; I'm horny as fuck."
"Butters made you horny?" I asked, raising an eyebrow.
Kyle finally looked up at me, his mouth a grim line. "Not Butters personally, just the sound of sex amplified in the background. It's like smelling fresh-baked cookies. After a while, you start to crave it."
"I can take care of that for you."
"Oh, aren't you hilarious." He capped the highlighter and pushed himself upright.
My eyes followed his shirt as he stood, bunched around his waist, exposing a good portion of ivory skin above the hem of his smoke-grey corduroy pants and quickly disappearing as the gravity pulled the fabric back into place. He straightened it out, scooped up his book and crossed the room to the computer desk in the corner, piling each item in a neat stack beside the printer.
"Guess who called us today."
I titled my head a little, getting the best possible view of his ass that I could. "Who?"
"That wasn't a guess."
I jerked upright when he turned around, frozen for a moment as he smirked at me. My heart convulsed and then shuttered, sending a mudslide of goose bumps across my skin. I quickly scanned my brain's database of acquaintances, then chose at random.
Kyle frowned. "My mother calls every single day. This is someone we haven't heard from in a while."
My attention sputtered for a moment, held captive by the ever-hypnotic gleam of his eyes, and finally shifted and clicked into the conversation. My eyes widened as the wheel of faces in my head spun again and slowly came to a stop.
"Not Cartman," I said, wary but halfway optimistic.
Kyle's smirk widened into the perfect blend of a grin and a grimace, equally as revolted as he was delighted.
Butters, Kyle, Stan and I currently resided in Wyoming, close to the Colorado border. It was about an hour and a half drive from Denver, and about three hours from South Park. The idea had, amazingly, been Butters'. The rest of us had been hell-bent on the East coast because it was furthest away from South Park, but Butters had cheerfully announced he was applying to several universities in Wyoming and we were dumbasses if we didn't.
Turns out he was right. Wyoming was close enough to Colorado that their parent's wouldn't be inclined to buy airline tickets to visit, thereby staying for days or weeks on end, and yet it was far enough away that they couldn't drop by whenever they felt like it.
Kyle had burned his already signed, sealed, and dated applications and took out a bunch to all the same colleges as Butters. Of course, Stan and I would jump on whatever bandwagon Kyle was on.
Cartman, however, had followed Wendy to Princeton. That could have been Kyle and Butter's as well, but neither of them seemed to care.
"What did he want?" I asked, more eager now.
Kyle opened his mouth, looked thoughtfully to the side, then closed it again on a sigh. "He…wanted me to check the mail."
"Check the mail?" I felt my eyebrow involuntarily arch.
Kyle's eyes met mine, the tiny smile playing about his lips again. He reached into his pocket, digging around for a moment, and finally pulled out a small, silver-laced envelope.
"You may want to sit down before you open this."
I ripped it out of his hand, plunging my fingers beneath the flap. I pulled out a shimmering piece of girly-looking stationary, trimmed with the same silver lace as the envelope. My heart kicked up as I took in the fairytale font and wine glasses on the cover, exclaiming, "You are invited!" in an almost nauseating pile of glitter.
My gaze snapped back up to Kyle's, eyes swimming in watery confusion, flavored with a hint of shock. There was no way; not Cartman, of all people…
Kyle crossed one arm over his chest and covered his mouth with the opposite hand, attempting and failing to hide his grin. I looked back down, scanning over the contents and reading them aloud:
Like the leaves on a summer
our hearts are uplifted by love
It's with joy that we,
pledge our love as one
on Saturday, the seventh of July
two thousand twelve
at two o'clock in the afternoon
Holy Rosary Catholic Church
3355 Oak View Drive
Kyle burst into laughter, and I blinked down at it, stupefied, then flipped it closed and worked it back into the envelope.
"Eric Cartman is getting married," I said, just to test the feel of the words on my tongue.
Kyle grimaced again. "It's hard not to think about what the entails-Eric Cartman's wedding night. Naked and sweaty and-" he broke off on a full-body shudder, then snatched the envelope from my fingers and sent it spiraling back onto the table.
"I'm thinking more about what it will entail for us," I said, smirking as Kyle looked back at me with a questioning. "Dates, dancing, wine," I plucked a sweater from the arm of the couch, (fuck it even if it was Stan's, it would still serve its purpose) and looped the arms around Kyle's neck. "Formal wear."
"What are you-"
"I've never been able to knot ties." I tugged him closer, leaving only enough room for our clothes to whisper against each other with each movement. Kyle's arms shot up to grasp mine, steadying himself. "Practice makes perfect. Right?"
He blinked, apparently stunned by the gesture as I began to make a slow attempt at knotting the arms of the sweater.
"Maybe if I just-" I crossed the sleeves and gave an experimental tug, yanking him closer. I felt the air rush out of him with an "oomph" as his chest slammed against mine.
It was such a blatant lie; I knew Kyle must have seen through it. I was the one who had knotted all our ties and threaded the carnations into our shirts for prom. Cartman was too lazy to care, Kyle had made a sloppy attempt, and Stan was going to take a page from his fathers' book and wear a clip-on. It was up to me to save the day, as was custom in our group. They had no suave really, not one of them. Then again, I was the only one who truly had to have it. It was all I had going for me, after all.
Kyle knew that about me, and he damn well knew I knew how to tie a simple knot. I was surprised he didn't point that out, shove my chest to knock me back and make his escape. Instead he stood perfectly still, crushed up against me, watching my eyes with a strange mixture of surprise and curiosity, shot through with tiny shards of pity. I felt my heartbeat decelerate to a hard throb as I locked my gaze with his, my fingers slowing to move in a mesmerizing dance of lingering seduction as they worked at the sweater.
"I remember," I said, making a loop of the sleeve. "I just have to slide inside here and...pull."
The tug drew his face a bit closer, and I could feel the murmur of his breath against my lips. I let the makeshift tie fall against his chest, and then moved my hand up, just barely grazing his jaw, inching forward, moving my lips closer to his. Just another centimeter and—
"You guys aren't going to believe this," Stan's voice shattered the atmosphere, and Kyle jerked away from me as the door banged closed in the foyer.
"Sonofabitch," I muttered, stepping back and raking a hand down the back of my neck.
Stan had the worst goddamned timing possible. Or best, I suppose, if you wanted to see it from his side. I didn't though; Stan was a bastard.
Kyle yanked the sweater off his neck and flung it back at the chair, my tedious flirtations all but forgotten as Stan appeared in the doorway, brandishing his cell phone.
"I just got a call from Cartman, and he's-"
"Getting married," I hissed, glaring as Kyle moved in for a welcome kiss. Innocent enough, reserved for company's sake, but I still hated it. "Yeah, we know."
Stan floundered under the crippling heat of my rudeness, freezing for a moment, then blinked twice. "Well...yeah. How did you-?"
"He sent us a formal invite," Kyle said, his tone much kinder than mine.
Stan was still looking at me as Kyle retrieved the envelope for him. He took it absently, a shade of pain crossing his face before finally looking down at it.
I jammed my hands into my pockets and looked away, directing the blaze of my resentment at a spot on the arm of the couch. I wasn't going to be overcome by the spark of guilt licking at my conscience. Hell no. It didn't matter what kind of puppy-in-the-rain look he gave me, I wouldn't let it make me feel bad.
"Isn't that the gayest thing you've ever read?" Kyle asked, snickering as Stan finished reading and stared down at it, disillusioned.
"I can't believe Cartman is getting married before anyone else. How is this possible?"
"Cartman was lucky enough to keep Wendy all to himself without anyone else worming their way into her heart and stealing her away," I said. "That's how."
By this point, the raw, slack-jawed disbelief evident in Stan's expression wasn't without warrant. I was being deliberately evil at that point, but sometimes the envy was so overwhelming it was all I could do to keep from physically destroying something. It was just so damn unfair.
"We could always be next," Kyle said, peeking up at Stan through his tuft of bangs. His smile was devious an unabashed, hope glinting beneath the surface. "It's legal in Colorado, you know."
My lungs seized up as Stan smiled down at him, eyes widening with the thrill of the idea. The fear that they might actually do something like that was so emotionally damaging I was suddenly nauseated, and I could feel the acids in my stomach begin to bubble and churn, burning like singed poison up my esophagus.
With nothing left to lose and my last drop of patience evaporated, I stomped my way toward the foyer, elbowing them apart. I slammed the door hard enough to make the etched glass window rattle.
The icy air bit at my nose as I slammed out the door. I automatically reached up to pull tight the drawstrings of my parka, but I had left it inside, and in the end I fumbled around my jeans pockets for my Marlboro's.
Stan stepped out just as I lit up. I pretended not to notice and blew the first puff into his face. He coughed and waved it away. I didn't apologize.
"Kenny, what's your problem?"
I Laughed. "Really, Stan? Really?" I took another long drag, this time looking down at my old doc martins, caked with recent mud. "Thought that'd be pretty fucking obvious."
Stan lingered a moment, not speaking, but staring so intensely it felt like my ears were ringing with it. I couldn't look at him. I'd see the hurt and the anger and the confusion and the helplessness; a mirror image of my feelings toward him. I'd never loved and hated anyone as fiercely as I did Stan. Cartman didn't count because my hate for him was more annoyance than malice.
I loathed him.
"You know something, Kenny?" Stan said, in that too understanding voice, crisp with compassion and drenched with regret.
I turned away and leaned my arms against the support railing of our tiny porch, overlooking the apartment complex's recreation room from three flights up. I was braced for another hippie-love lecture, a heartfelt speech about how our friendship is deeper than this and we should have overcome this years ago.
God, Stan, don't you understand that I hate you?
"You're a goddamned loathsome sonofabitch."
The ash collapsed from the end of my cigarette, as if it were as shocked as I was at the ferocity of the words. I looked back at him, over my shoulder. His normally sweet expression had been painted over with stony anger.
"That's right," he said, apparently reading my surprise. "The only reason I force myself to be civil to you is because Kyle is convinced you're still our friend."
I straightened and turned back toward him, my jaw set. "I'm still his-"
"Don't be such a dumb ass," he snapped. "If you were really Kyle's friend, you'd have a lot more respect for his relationships. You think you're going to tear us apart and then clean up all the pieces for him, but you're only kidding yourself. Kyle will never leave me, and if he ever did, it wouldn't be for you."
"Bullshit!" He fired. A white Shitsu began barking in a neighboring window.
I opened my mouth again, and his eyes flashed.
"Stop touching him, Kenny. Stop flirting, stop sneering at me whenever I go near him like a fucking annoying, ankle-biting bitch. Kyle is not yours, he never has been, and he never will be. If you don't cut the bullshit, I'll-"
"What?" I snarled, flicking my cigarette into the provided ash tray above the concrete garbage can and moving closer to him. "You'll do what?"
"Pack mine and Kyle's things and take him as far away from you as I can."
My pulse redoubled, the fear of his threat gripping me although I tried to pretend it didn't. "Kyle wouldn't leave. He… he loves it here. There's no way he'd just…" My voice was weakening, and Stan seemed to have sensed it.
"I've already talked to him about it. He told me that if I felt like we needed space from everyone, he would follow me anywhere I wanted to go. Even back to South Park."
I didn't speak. The reality of possibly losing Kyle was a nightmare I never wanted to be stuck in.
"He loves me, Kenny." Stan said, sharply. "Stop trying to fuck with that. On top of being cruel, it's just plain pathetic. You're supposed to be his friend. You're supposed to be mine."
I snorted. "That ship has already sailed and sunk."
"By your torpedo, not mine," he said. The words were softer, and damn if I didn't feel a little part of myself burning with remorse.
Because he was right. He was right. Stan had never done anything to hurt me. Nothing but take Kyle from me. Only that wasn't fair, because Kyle never truly was mine. And because I had told Stan I understood, that I wouldn't fault him for it.
I didn't realize at the time of my promise that I would never be able to keep it. Kyle was completely beneath my skin, and I couldn't deal. I didn't want to be fair because nothing was fair. Why should Stan get everything?
"The crazy thing," Stan went on, sounding slightly hysterical as he voiced his irony. "The really fucked up thing? If not for Kyle, you and I would have boned each other senseless by now, if not actually been together."
Right again, and it was pissing me the hell off. "In your dre-"
"Oh, shut up, Kenny! You know it's true!" He snapped. "I care about you a lot, but I'm not going to just sit back and watch you try again and again to tempt Kyle away from me! It's completely disrespectful and I won't tolerate it anymore. If you want to spend every second obsessing over something that's never going to happen, if you can't move the fuck on with your life, if you can't ever be my friend again, then that's all on you. But if you don't learn to at least outwardly respect our relationship, then I am transferring as far away from you as I can possibly get, and you can bet your ass Kyle will follow me without hesitation."
Before I could even begin to digest the vengeance Stan had just spooned at me, Kyle burst through the door, wide-eyed and breathless.
"Stan, it's your mom. Shelly's having her baby."
Confusion passed over Stan's face as he regarded the phone Kyle was holding out to him.
"Her Baby? But its-"
"Too early," said Kyle. "exactly."
Stan snatched the phone and disappeared inside, firing questions at 1000 kilos a second. Kyle's eyes met mine briefly, then he darted back through the door.
I hesitated on the spot and then turned my back and leaned over the railing again. Spitefully, I wondered why Kyle cared so much about Shelly's kid. The world didn't need another human with Marsh blood anyway.
A/N: Yeah, Kenny IS supposed to be kind of dick-ish right now. He's heartbroken STILL after all these years. He's bitter.
Please note that the baby is not a significant plot point. Something ELSE happens.