A/N: Following the trope of Kyle going from awkward to pretty, with a twist. Crude and offensive language, as per usual with South Park.

Sparkle
by Clara

1.
hobags and jewbags

South Park was exactly the kind of place where childhood sweethearts really did get married years down the road. That kind of shit happened when you were stuck around the same people from kindergarten to twelfth grade. It was a given, then, that Stan and Wendy were the archetypal couple to hook up in fourth grade and get married after college. Eventually, they would end up in a two-storey house on the same street Stan grew up on and have three children and possibly a dog. Stan would have a relatively well-paying job while Wendy would crush the little people with her political exploits and turn her and Stan into millionaires.

Except neither of them were having it.

"Stanley Marsh, we're through!"

Wendy Testaburger threw the rest of her chocolate milkshake in Stan's face for effect (and revenge, possibly, for all those years he'd hurled on her), and stormed out of the hamburger joint. The chocolate clumps oozed down his face. He wondered what he did this time, then sighed and mopped up the shake from his face with a wad of napkins.

"Dude, the bitch threw her shake on you?" Cartman said, sliding into Wendy's now unoccupied seat. "Sweet."

"What happened this time?" Kenny asked, dropping down beside Stan. They had a knack for showing up at either the best or the most inopportune moments. Stan figured it was because there was nothing else to do in South Park but stalk friends who lead more interesting lives.

Stan and Wendy broke up every Friday, wallowed in their own misery over the weekend, and then got back together on Monday. It was routine. It was getting to be as old as Kenny dying. Stan didn't even bother to wallow anymore. Usually, he just played videogames with one of the guys. He scowled.

"I don't know. Maybe she just didn't want to break tradition."

"PMS?" Kenny ventured, stealing one of Stan's fries.

"No, I bet she's just bitchy because your dirty Jewfag boyfriend is coming back to town," said Cartman, just going for Stan's whole tray. Stan let him, resigned. There were times he wondered why Cartman even bothered to hang out with them, except, of course, to torture Kyle. Which, Stan supposed, was enough reason for him. Plus, he was Cartman. Cartman had been around since they were all in diapers. You didn't just drop someone like that, no matter how big a douche he tended to be.

"He's already back in town," Stan corrected, not bothering to deny Cartman's title for Kyle. It would be a waste of time. "He's just been busy."

He thought he'd managed to keep the note of bitterness from his voice pretty well, but Kenny snapped a look at him, eyebrows raised. He shrugged in response. Cartman was too busy gorging himself on Stan's leftovers to notice their exchange.

"Anyway," Stan continued, looking away from Kenny's curious eyes. "That's a pretty dumbass reason to dump me."

"Therein lies the rub," Cartman said, brutalizing poor Shakespeare. He sat up straight. "You see, now the bitch is just looking for reasons to drop your sorry ass. It is obvious that she has finally realized what a faggot you are and is just trying to find a way to rid of you for good."

"Yeah right," Kenny muttered, dipping one of the fries into some of the spilt milkshake. Stan made a disgusted face at him. Kenny blinked at him, then grinned and licked the chocolate off. All that earned him was an eyeroll. "Dude, don't knock it til you try it."

"She'll be back on Monday," Stan said confidently and a bit carelessly, balling up the napkins he'd been using to wipe the chocolate and shooting for the garbage can. It went in, of course.

"So, Kyle's back," Kenny said, not one to let a subject drop. Stan's scowl returned. "Where is he?"

"How should I know? I tried calling him, but Mrs. Broflovski told me he'd be busy all week."

Another thing about South Park was that you tended to keep the same friends your entire life. Unlike bigger cities, kids didn't drift apart after graduating from junior high. Rather, you were stuck with the same damn people for forever. Stan figured it wasn't that bad, considering he had lucked out and got Kyle. He could, for instance, be like Butters—forever stuck as an outcast because their school wasn't diverse enough to have a group that would accept the losers. Well, that wasn't entirely fair. Being that their school was by no means large, the kids tended not to form the stereotypical cliques of high school. They just all sort of coexisted. And Butters wasn't that bad.

Thinking about Kyle just made Stan's scowl deepen.

"Riiight," Kenny said slowly, recognizing Stan's annoyance. "I wouldn't get too pissed, Stan. You'll see him on Monday."

That didn't make Stan feel any better.

"Oh, Jesus," Cartman said. "He's just being a whiny bitch because he doesn't have his hobag or his Jewbag to suck his balls this weekend."

Stan just scowled.

2.
sparkly faggy fairy

Kyle didn't have to take the bus to school like the other kids because, well, he had a car. It was an ugly, old, rusty pickup in bad need of a paint-job that Kyle had bought with money he had saved up two years ago, but it was surprisingly reliable and moved like a tank through snowy streets. Kyle was one of those obnoxiously cautious drivers, stopping at every stop sign and red light, checking both ways when he turned, making sure there was no one in his blind spot and never, ever going over the speed limit. In fact, the cops regularly pulled him over and gave him warnings for being an insufferably good driver.

Which was why he was late for his first day of senior year.

"Goddamnit," he snarled, slamming his door shut. The cop had pulled him over for coming to a complete stop at the stop sign instead of just rolling through like everyone else. Apparently, he had caused at least three accidents behind him. He didn't think he would ever understand what the fuck was up with South Park. With a grimace, he trudged to his first class. There was no point in running. He was already beyond late.

Well, whatever. First period was English and Mrs. Tets ("TITS") loved him.

As expected, Mrs. Tets just rolled her eyes when Kyle burst into class, never one for discretion. "Mr. Broflovski. So good of you to—" But she paused and stared, because everyone was pausing and staring.

Kyle pursed his lips and made his way to the seat next to Stan, which was obviously being saved for him by a backpack. Except Stan was staring, too. And Kyle, never one who was good with pressure, finally snapped. "What? What! Jesus Christ, what?"

"Er, nothing, Kyle," Mrs. Tets said soothingly. "You've just, ah, changed."

"That's for fucking sure," someone—who sounded suspiciously like Bebe—piped up from the back.

"Dude!" Cartman. No doubt. "He's a sparkly faggy fairy!"

"Oh god," Kyle said, rolling his eyes to the ceiling. "What the fuck now."

"No, really," Mrs. Tets said. "It seems that you really have become a sparkly faggy fairy."

Shouldn't they be talking about summer reading? Kyle tried to sink into his chair. He was not a sparkly faggy fairy.

"Come on," Wendy said, from Stan's left (though she had put up a wall of books as a barricade between the two of them). Kyle glanced at her gratefully. "There's nothing wrong with being a sparkly faggy fairy. Besides, it suits Kyle very well."

Oh, for fucks sake.

"Dude, well, your braces," Stan finally said. He was still staring.

"Jesus Christ, I just had them removed."

"And your glasses?"

"Ike broke them, so I got contacts for the time being."

"But your clothes—"

"My cousins from California burned them and forced me to go shopping with them."

"Okay, what about your Jewfro?"

"They also forced all these hair products on me, I don't know."

"Holy crap, dude," Stan said. "You really do sparkle."

Kyle dropped his forehead to his hand, closing his eyes. Oh, oh this was a good way to start the year. "No, I really fucking don't."

"Language!" Mrs. Tets said, though the class had been cursing up a storm the entire time. "I don't think a pretty young man should talk like that, anyway. You wouldn't want to ruin any future perspectives, would you?"

Kyle stared at her. "What the hell!"

"Boys don't like girls who have sailor mouths." That sent the entire class into hysterics.

"Haha! Jewbag's a girl!" Kyle didn't even have to turn around to know who said that. Even though he could easily distinguish anybody in the class by just hearing them speak, that could only be the fatass.

"Dude, I'm not a girl!"

"I know," Mrs. Tets was smiling comfortingly at him.

Kyle shot a desperate look at Stan, but Stan was casually staring at the ceiling. Oh, god. He hated them all. Seriously, what the fuck.

3.
communicable sparkles

"So, dude." Stan seemed to have gotten over his bitchiness from the day before at the shock of seeing the radical change Kyle went through. "So, uh. What happened?"

"What the fuck do you mean?"

Stan grinned. He really had missed Kyle during his summer in California, even when he was acting like a bitchy schoolgirl. "Nothing. I mean, dude, it's just that—well, you've changed."

"Why, because I got my braces off and I don't have glasses?"

"Yeah, that." Stan paused and examined Kyle carefully. "Well, that and—jeez, dude, you sparkle."

"I don't sparkle!"

They were let out of English early because Mrs. Tets had just told them to take their green sheets and get the hell out. When Stan glanced over his shoulder, he caught a glimpse of Mrs. Tets pulling a pack of cigarettes from her desk drawer.

"You know," Kenny said to Cartman, leaning against Stan's locker, "they really do make a cute couple."

Both Cartman and Stan ignored him, Cartman because, well, he was Cartman, and Stan because he knew better than to take Kenny's blathering to heart. Kyle, who was already on edge, exploded.

"What the hell, Kenny!" It was almost becoming a mantra. What the hell, what the fuck. Stan supposed it was understandable, considering Kyle's state of bemusement.

"No, seriously," Kenny said thoughtfully, examining Kyle and Stan carefully. Stan was taller and broader than their diabetic friend, but Kyle would beat the shit out of anyone who might imply he was twinkish because Jesus Christ, he was not. And he really wasn't. He just happened to be a smidge shorter, and a tad skinnier than Stan. To his defense, Stan was on the football and the hockey team. "Everyone says that Stan and Wendy are meant for each other because, you know, you two are the prettiest people in the school, but I don't know. I think Kyle might have Wendy beat."

"Oh god, we are not having this conversation."

"And your guys' colors match pretty well. I mean, Stan and Wendy kinda look like brother and sister, you know? It's the hair, I guess."

"Really, seriously, we are not talking about this."

"Yeah, come on dude," Stan finally said, starting to get a little annoyed himself. Kenny was talking about him and Kyle, after all. He wasn't gay—and he sure as hell wasn't gay for Kyle.

Even though he did sparkle.

And, okay, while he might not be prettier than Wendy, he was at least as pretty.

"Look, look guys," Cartman cut in. "I do not think we should be worrying about what is already so blaringly obvious. It is a given that Kyle and Stan are total cocksuckers for each other. What should be our concern, and the concern of all unsuspecting, self-respecting non-cocksuckers, is if there is a possibility that Kyle's sparkly fagginess is—" he paused for drama, "—contagious."

As one, the three non-sparklers took a step back. Kyle looked at each of them in horror. Then, "Goddamnit, I do not sparkle and I am not contagious, you stupid dickheads!"

"It's probably an STD. Tell us, Kyle, did you happen to sleep with a sparkly whore? You know, without a glove?"

"No, you stupid fatass!"

"'ey!"

Kyle turned to his best friend imploringly. "Come on, Stan. You don't believe this bullshit, do you?"

"Well, dude, you do sparkle."

Kyle dropped his head in his hands. Normally, Stan was one of the most level headed guys—in the whole goddamn town. Kyle could always rely on Stan to be at least marginally realistic. Except when he was being a fucking retard.

"No, dude, serious." Stan grabbed Kyle's arm.

Cartman gasped. "You got the sexually transmitted sparkles!"

"Relax, dude. I'm wearing gloves."

Kenny snickered. "Pitchers always should wear gloves."

Stan ignored him and pulled Kyle into an empty classroom. Then just sort of stood there.

"Well?" Kyle said impatiently, crossing his arms over his chest.

"The lights are off," Stan said.

Kyle rolled his eyes. "Well, dude, it's the middle of the day. You know, the sun?"

Stan chose to remain oblivious to Kyle's sarcasm. "The shades are drawn."

Kyle's mouth dropped open, probably about to form more protests. He looked around the room slowly. He closed his mouth. Looked at Stan. Looked down at his own arms. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, sitting down heavily in one of the empty desks. "Holy shit, I really do sparkle."

"Yep."

"I don't get it, dude. Why am I sparkling?"

Stan sat in the desk beside Kyle, scratching the back of his neck thoughtfully. "You were in L.A. for three months, right?"

"Right."

"I'm thinking maybe you were overexposed to people there."

"What!"

"It's the only thing I can think of, man. I mean, you didn't sparkle before you left South Park."

"But wouldn't that mean Mom and Dad and Ike would have it?" Kyle asked, hating himself for buying into Stan's obviously bogus ideas.

"Maybe you're more susceptible."

"I E a sensitive bitch!" Cartman shouted through the door.

"Shut up, lardface!"

"Anyway," Stan interrupted, before their fight could escalate.

"Anyway!" Kyle said, whirling on Stan and nearly blinding him with his shine. "We've got to figure out how the hell to stop the sparkle!"

4.
pandemic

The sparkles first got Butters.

The whispers exploded through South Park High. A large group of people had surrounded the now sparkly Butters, who was wringing his hands and looking around in terror.

"Did you eat something that he ate, Butters?"

"Did you drink from the same water fountain?"

"Did he touch you—inappropriately?"

"N-no," Butters said, starting to twitch a bit like Tweek. "Oh jeez, oh hamburgers. I'm not going to d-die, am I?"

"No, Butters." Kyle sounded resigned. The people near to him backed off a step, having not realized he was there. His sparkles were temporarily outshone by Butters's. "You're not going to die."

"Golly, Kyle. My parents are going to ground me if I come home sparkling. How do you turn it off?"

"You don't."

Butters twitched a little.

"Don't worry Butters," Kenny said soothingly, patting their blond friend's shoulder. "It suits you."

As a result of Kenny's good intentions, he started to sparkle, too.

"Aw, shit!"

"Kyle Broflovski!" The principal stormed down the hall, parting the crowd of teenagers like Moses and the Red Sea. He was livid. "You stop this sparkling right now!"

"But—!"

"Now, while we may be tolerant to sparklers, that does not mean you can be so blatant and flamboyant about it. Stop sparkling right now!" The principal caught sight of Butters, and his face fell. "Oh no, Butters! Not you too! And Kenny. Though I always suspected—Kyle! Stop turning your friends into sparklers!"

"I'm not—!"

"Don't you talk back to me, sparky. Detention."

"What the fuck."

5.
twinkerbell

By lunchtime, a quarter of the male population of South Park High had been infected by what was now dubbed 'The Sparkle Virus.' Empty classrooms contained the boys in an attempt to keep them from spreading the sparkles to anyone else. As per usual with South Park, the news spread faster than normal and was soon broadcasted nationwide.

Stan and Kyle were talking to each other through the door. The entire school had been quarantined off, but the boys that weren't infected were at least allowed free roam of the school. The girls seemed completely unaffected.

"Don't worry, Kyle. I'll figure out what's going on."

Kyle sighed. He believed in Stan, since—well, they had been through a lot together, and managed to get out of even stranger situations than this. Everything just seemed so hopeless. "All right, Stan. I trust in you."

"Fags!" That was from Cartman, from Stan's side of the door.

Kyle listened for a moment more to see if Stan would say anything else, before turning back to the small group that had been shoved into his classroom. Kenny, Butters, Tweek, and—Token, of all people, all sitting in desks pushed in a circle. The lights were off, but they could have probably lit up the entire school.

"What's the matter with Tweek?"

Tweek was holding his head in his hands. He was groaning miserably.

"Caffeine withdrawal, I'm guessing," Kenny said, awkwardly patting Tweek's shoulder. He wasn't really good at being comforting, since his family promoted the whole, 'the more you suffer, the stronger you get' idea. This didn't stop him from trying, though. He was driven by an inexplicable need to get people to stop suffering, if only because suffering people were really annoying.

"Gah!"

"Gee, Token," Butters said, "I never figured to be the glittery kind."

"I'm not glittery, I'm sparkly. Besides," Token examined his arms thoughtfully, "what exactly does being sparkly entail?"

"Cartman told me that it was cuz I was guh-gay."

"Don't listen to him," Kyle said, flopping down into the desk next to Token. Token shot him an accusing look, then just sighed. Strange things always happened in South Park, and more often than not they somehow involved one of the fantastic four. He would be kidding himself if he said he was surprised.

"He did!" Butters insisted. "He said it was coz I'm gay and a buh-bottom."

The other boys (excluding Tweek), gasped.

"There's no denying that," Token said.

"That's just Butters." Kenny waved his hands about. "It's obviously not applicable to all of us."

"Besides, I'm not gay!"

All the boys (including Tweek this time) turned as one to look at Kyle.

"I'm not. I'm not."

"Please," Token said, rolling his eyes. "You've had the hots for Stan since like, kindergarten."

Kyle dropped his head in his hands. God, there were times he hated his friends.

For awhile the silence was only broken by Tweek's groans. Each boy was undoubtedly considering his own sexuality. Everyone figured Kyle had a hard on for Stan (they were such the stereotypical one-sided couple—dorky, behind the times guy pining for his uber popular jock of a best friend who was voted prom king even when he was a freshman) but they—well, Token—was pretty secure in his heterosexuality. Kenny seemed willing to try anything and not many people really liked thinking about Tweek's and Butters's sexuality.

"Look, I'm not going to start getting hot for guys just because I'm sparkling," Kyle said, scowling. Kenny snorted. "No, serious. And I don't have a thing for Stan! We've just been best friends since forever."

"But you do!"

The boys looked at each other in surprise, then around the room to try and put a source to the voice. There was a bright flash of light in the middle of their desks, causing Tweek to fall from his chair and the other kids to leap up in surprise.

What appeared in that flash of light was, of all things, a motherfucking fairy. In nearly every sense of the word. The boys leaned closer in surprise. He was blond, impeccably stylish with his hair messy yet fashionable and his skinny green leaf pants snug around what looked like a perfect, miniature ass.

"I don't believe it," Token said. "There really is a sparkly faggy fairy."

"We're in South Park," Kenny reminded him.

"You do!" the fairy said, ignoring the exchange. "You do have a thing for him, and that's why I'm helping you!"

"Wait, what?"

"I've been watching you since you were sixteen—"

"Stalker sparkly faggy fairy," Token amended.

"And I've noticed the way your eyes linger on Stanley, the way your jealousy flares up every time Wendy is near, the way your heart skips a beat when Stanley smiles at you—"

"Gah!" Kyle clamped his hands over his ears. "Okay, okay, stop right there before I puke everywhere!"

"But Stan remains oblivious to your obvious infatuation—"

"Just a second ago you said it was love," Token interrupted.

"—and though you have obviously improved in the appearance area," the fairy continued doggedly, "I felt that you needed that added boost to capture Stanley's attention."

"Okay, first of all, it's Stan, not Stanley," Kyle said. "Second of all, I do not like him."

"Kyle aside, what about the rest of us?"

The fairy looked at Kenny, considering. "Well, doing this one good deed for Mr. Kyle here made me feel so good that I decided to help all the other poor boys in need."

"Okay, okay, so I can understand Butters, and even Tweek," Token waved his hand at the two blonds, "but why me?"

The fairy tsked sadly at him and Token narrowed his eyes.

"Oh god," Kenny said, eyes wide. "We're sparkling because Twinkerbell here thinks we're losers."

"Excuse me, Mr. Twinkerbell." Token was still infuriated. "But I can get laid whenever I want."

"Uh huh."

"Goddamnit!"

"Look, obviously this sparkling thing isn't working," Kyle said, deciding that logic was the wrong approach when it came to Twinkerbell. "All it's done is had us condemned to these classrooms and removed from—" he faltered, here, as if the words were becoming increasingly hard to say, "—the objects of our," he winced, "interests. The town's in a flurry thinking that there's some sort of epidemic going around. Don't you think it would be more, er, profitable for us if you just took the sparkles away?"

Twinkerbell looked utterly crestfallen. "Really? Oh, nuts. I thought I was doing something really good, you know?" He sighed, putting his whole body into it. "Anyway. I can't take the sparkles off."

"What?"

"Don't worry, don't worry! It'll fade within a week."

"I can't be stuck in here for a week!" Tweek burst out, words marginally less crammed together due to his lack of caffeine. "I can't! I just can't! Oh god you have to get me out of here right now I can't deal with this I feel like my head is going to exploDERAGH."

Kyle glared down at the crushed little fairy. "Look, you got us into this mess. You sure as hell better get us out. I don't care if you have to get a megaphone and explain this dumb situation to everyone but I want to get out of this classroom in fifteen minutes."

Twinkerbell's eyes lit up. "That's a great idea!" He shot to the air and zipped to the closet, where one of the cheerleader's megaphones was conveniently stored. Before any of them could stop him, he flitted out of the room, holding up the ridiculously oversized megaphone to his teeny mouth with both of his hands.

"Attention EVERYONE!" he blared, having somehow magnified the volume to get more coverage. "KYLE BROFLOVSKI ONLY SPARKLES OUT OF HIS DESIRE AND LOVE FOR STANLEY MARSH! DO NOT WORRY. THE SPARKLES ARE JUST TESTAMENT OF HIS OVERWHELMING FEELINGS FOR STANLEY MARSH!"

"Was that a fairy?" someone said from outside of the classroom.

"Who the fuck cares!" Cartman. Cartman, Cartman, Cartman. "I knew it! Kyle's gay!"

"Oh. Oh my god." Kyle's mouth had gone dry. He was going to be sick.

6.
a break in tradition

Everyone knew that Mondays were the days that Stanley Marsh and Wendy Testaburger got back together. It was tradition. Not once had it ever been broken, even when the school had been overrun by rabid bunnies out for blood or when pornstars staged a revolt in front of their principal's office.

It seemed, however, that Stan was determined to act as his own cockblocker.

"Stan, can I talk to you?" asked Wendy, as Stan dug through Kyle's locker in an attempt to find some answers.

"Not now, Wendy. I've got to help Kyle!"

Wendy shoved her hands in her pockets and frowned. She understood perfectly how close Stan and Kyle were and went out of her way to make sure she wasn't one of those clingy girlfriends that demanded all of her boyfriend's time. But it was Monday and school was almost over and frankly, Wendy didn't like breaking tradition. "I understand. It'll only take a second."

Stan sighed and turned to her, frowning just a little bit. He was still irritable at having a chocolate milkshake sloshed all over him.

"I just want to apologize for throwing my milkshake on you," she started, looking Stan in the eye. "I shouldn't have done it. I don't really know what came over me." She was rewarded with a small smile for her apology. She smiled back. "And—"

"ATTENTION ALL STUDENTS AND FACULTY! THE SPARKLES ARE MERELY A MANIFESTATION OF KYLE BROFLOVSKI'S LONGING FOR STANLEY MARSH! FOR SEVEN YEARS KYLE HAS YEARNED DESPERATELY FOR HIS BEST FRIEND'S LOVE! ATTENTION! KYLE BROFLOVSKI SPARKLES FOR STANLEY MARSH!"

An incredibly chic fairy zoomed through the hall, screaming about Kyle's apparent love for Stan amidst loud catcalls and shouts of 'I knew it!' Money passed hands as people collected on bets. Members of Stan's football team came up to him and clapped him on the back.

Stan and Wendy just sort of stood there.

"Did—" Stan faltered. Tried again. "Did that just really happen?"

"Wait." Wendy looked at her current ex-boyfriend with wide eyes. "So it's true?"

"What? No! God, Wendy, Kyle doesn't—" He stumbled over his words. Well, he didn't think Kyle liked him. But if Kyle was sparkling because of his love for him, then didn't that mean—

"Oh goddamnit, seriously? You mean, Cartman was right?" Wendy didn't sound as pissed as she should have, which surprised both of them. In fact, she seemed a good deal more irritated over the idea of Cartman being right than that Kyle might really be sporting a woody for her boyfriend.

"I don't know."

"You know, Stan, I'll support any decision you make. I'll always love you, but it doesn't have to be love-love, you know? You'll be my friend forever."

No, this totally was so not happening.

"Are you dumping me because you think Kyle might like me?"

"No, it's not just because of that." Wendy sighed, leaning on the locker beside Stan. "Look, do you ever get the feeling we're just going through the motions? That we wouldn't even be dating if we weren't pressured to do so? All we ever hear about is how we're the 'perfect couple.' I think that makes us idealize our relationship. We're only the perfect couple because everyone says we're the perfect couple, and therefore we try and act like the perfect couple. But you know what? More often than not I get a feeling that you'd rather be hanging out with the guys—Kyle—than with me. And—and I'm fine with that." She paused in wonder. "That's a problem in on itself, don't you think? That I'd prefer you to hang out with the guys over me?"

Stan stared at her.

"I think it would be best if we took a step back from our relationship into friendship. Permanently. I think we make better friends than lovers. We should be scoping out new opportunities instead of just tying ourselves to a nine year childhood relationship. We could be losing out on way more than either of us realize because we just can't—break tradition."

"Are you uh, officially breaking up with me?"

Wendy paused thoughtfully. "I guess I am. Not too bad, huh?"

Stan was surprised to realize it really wasn't. Maybe it was the on again, off again nature to their relationship, but the sting was a lot less than he expected. It still hurt, but it was only a dull pain. One that might linger, but would eventually fade.

"Maybe you're right, Wendy."

"Of course I am."

They smiled at each other.

And that was how South Park's token couple broke up. For good.

7.
stan & kyle

They let the boys out after Twinkerbell described in full what his intentions had been and the media trickled away when they realized that their 'epidemic' was really just spurred by a boy who had a boner for his jock of a best friend. Interesting, but not exactly groundbreaking news. They made sure to mention, however, in their nationwide news, that the reason for the sparkles was because of Kyle's love for Stan. Just in case anyone wanted to know.

"My life is over," Kyle said to an entirely unsympathetic Token. The sparkles had also been explained as evidence for homosexuality. Now, no matter what happened, one quarter of South Park High's male population would be labeled as 'gay.' Token sighed and only hoped that whatever happened next in South Park would be big enough to make everyone forget about Twinkerbell and the sparkles.

"No, seriously dude. It's over. I'm going to go—I don't know, shoot myself."

Nobody stopped him when Kyle left the room. The only people who might have really cared if Kyle offed himself that were around at the moment (the others would normally have cared if the situation had been a little different) were Kenny and Butters, and they were chasing a stressed out Twinkerbell with bugspray and a flyswatter.

The halls were remarkably empty. Kyle appreciated this. He did not want to be bothered by anyone who was too curious for their own damn good.

He never did manage to kill himself, just ended up at the bleachers for some serious introspective time. Had he really seemed so desperate that a fairy—a fairy—had to come help him? Did everyone really think that he had the hots for Stan? They were close, yeah, but weren't best friends supposed to be close? Did he really have a hard on for Stan? He never thought he did, but could he be wrong? He rested his elbows on the seat behind him and leaned his head back, staring up at the sky. Fat, fluffy clouds drifted overhead. He closed his eyes and imagined he was up there, floating with the clouds, instead of down on the earth where his world was certain to explode very soon.

He didn't open his eyes when he heard someone clanking up the bleachers, or even when the person sat down beside him. He knew who it was without even looking. When you practically lived with someone your entire life, you just sort of became attuned to their presence.

"They're saying you're gay for me."

"Obviously, everyone is retarded. You should know this by now, Stan."

He knew Stan was grinning, because Stan was Stan. "That's true."

There was a sort of companionable silence between the two of them for several moments that should not have existed. By all means, it should have been awkward. Kyle reveled in the fact that they were just so in tune with each other that even stupid situations like this didn't strain their friendship.

"Butters finally managed to swat Twinkerbell and he sort of exploded. Everyone is sparkling now."

Kyle offered up a feeble chuckle, opening his eyes to verify. Stan was indeed sparkling, though it was dim in the bright sun. "Well, that's good I guess. Soon no one will be able to tell who originally sparkled and who didn't. Except me, of course, since I started it all. Oh, and since it was broadcasted nationwide."

There was another bout of silence, this one decidedly tenser. Stan tapped his fingers together. "Wendy broke up with me."

"Oh yeah?" Kyle tried to sound interested but they broke up more than Kenny died these days. Then he frowned. "Wait, isn't today Monday?"

"Yeah. She told me it was permanent this time. Something about how we were just dating because everyone expected us to."

"Jeez man, I'm sorry. Are you okay?"

Stan shrugged a bit. "It doesn't bug me as much as I thought it would, actually. I guess I was expecting it to happen, too. I still love her, but it's become—platonic, you know?"

Kyle nodded and didn't say anything, because he didn't have to say anything. In times like these, sitting side by side under the warm sun and looking at the clouds, comfort was just taken from the other's presence.

"So."

"So?"

"So are you really gay for me?"

Kyle would have fallen off the bleachers if it were humanly possible. "Christ, Stan!"

"Well, are you?"

"No! I'm not! I mean, no!"

"Because if you are," Stan was staring up at the sky, "I don't think I'm totally opposed to it."

Kyle stared at him.

"I mean, obviously I'm not going to jump down your pants right now or anything. And if you tried jumping down mine, I'd probably break your nose. But—I don't know. Maybe in the future?" Stan thought about it for a second. "Possibly the near future?"

"Stan."

"I have fun with you." There was nothing stopping Stan now. "A lot of fun. More fun than with anyone else, including Wendy. And honestly, when I think about the future, I think of you. 'What's Kyle doing this Sunday?' 'I wonder if Kyle wants to play basketball after school?' I never go out of my way to make plans with anyone else, just you. Even with Wendy. With her I just sort of—went along with the flow, you know? And then I started thinking—what is a true relationship if not being 'Super Best Friends?' And the idea of kissing you gives me that strange feeling in my stomach."

"Like you're going to vomit?" Kyle weakly offered.

"Something like that, I guess. Which isn't really a bad thing, in my case. Anyway, Kyle. It's not just because you're pretty—though you are, or because you sparkle, since everyone does now. I just can't imagine my life without you, and I pretty much expect you to be around every day. And it's been like this since we were eight. If that doesn't make me totally gay for you, then I don't know what does."

"I can't believe we're even talking about this." Kyle sounded dazed even to his own ears. It never occurred to him that Stan might be gay for him.

"I'm just saying—think about it. It might not actually be that bad of an idea."

Of course it was a bad idea. It was a horrible idea. First of all, they weren't gay. Second of all, didn't he realize that if something went wrong with their relationship, there was a high chance their friendship would dissolve as well?

But—

But Stan just looked so damn earnest and Kyle was just so damn weak against his best friend. He closed his eyes and sighed heavily. "Okay, okay, we'll try this gay thing. But if this doesn't work out I swear to god if I lose you as a best friend I'm going to kill you."

Stan grinned widely and a little wildly at him and Kyle had to grin back, thinking that maybe this wouldn't be such a bad thing after all.