Disclaimer: We do not own South Park or its characters.
Authors' note I: we planned on writing this since June, I think, and now, we are proud the present the Fletset-eishi collaboration! Hopefully you will enjoy this and hopefully, updates won't come too far in between.
Authors' note II: English is not our native tongue, please feel free to correct us on any mistakes in grammar or spelling you may find.
A Rich Man's Dust
Stanley Marsh had rarely felt so nervous as he did that very moment. Even if the temperature was barely fifty and the spring wind was a bit cooler than usually, he felt sweat drops running down his neck.
Alright, so maybe he wasn't looking the best he could. Maybe he should've combed his hair and changed his old college sweater to something more professional before coming here. Maybe he should've even put on a dark suit – but he shook his head to this thought immediately, as his only suit had been ruined in the graduation party. Perhaps he should've changed his sneakers, at least...
Stan shook his head again and straightened his back. If he was going to see one of the richest people in South Park, in the richest area of town to do something as humiliating as to beg for a job, he should and would and could look poor. Pity points for him, perhaps? He took a deep breath and slowly opened the white, curly gate. It didn't creak at all, as he had assumed it to, but then again, this was no old haunted house from a horror movie. He entered the garden timidly, and was at awe immediately.
The blood-red roses filled the left side of the path; even the grass in front of them was neatly grown, as if it had been cut with nail scissors. On the right side he saw an ocean of bright yellow flowers, slowly swaying with the wind.
He stared blankly at them, trying to recall the name. His ex-girlfriend had nagged him to buy flowers often, and he knew he should recognize this one... Deafmill? Daftdill? Or something like that.
Stan stopped for a moment to observe the house – or, more like mansion. It was a newly-built one, but made to look like it was much older with some clever tricks in the windowsills and corner decorations. Stan could hardly count the windows that filled the creamy white wall, and even if he normally didn't care for one bit about something as trivial as stairs, he just had to admire the way the stone gleamed and how there was a handrail only on the left side.
He took a deep breath and rang the doorbell.
It seemed like an eternity before he heard footsteps approaching, but he wished that the door would never open. When it did, he squeezed his eyes shut for a moment, wishing that he would disappear instantly.
Stan slowly opened his eyes and saw a strikingly red-haired man eyeing him curiously and partly amusedly.
"I... um. Uh..." he gulped, but felt suddenly calmer when he noticed that the man wasn't that much older than him; maybe in his early thirties? Feeling a rush of confidence, he decided to start over. "My name is Stan Marsh. I've... I've come to ask... if, um, there's any job here I can take?"
The redhead cocked an eyebrow and his lips curved into the tiniest smile, but Stan found it hard to decipher the meaning behind this facial gesture. "A job?" the man asked, as if he had not heard the first time, door still only open halfway.
Had Stan already not been so humiliated, he might've felt a teeny weeny bit hurt. "Yeah, I..."
To hell with it, he thought, and continued: "I heard you needed a servant, and, well..." He smiled confidently, but was well aware of how his eyes gave away his true nervousness. "Here I am."
The redhead chuckled and crossed his arms over his chest, eyeing him with a little interest. "I see," he said and nodded slightly, closing his eyes briefly and opening the door fully as he opened them again. "Well then. Come on in, and we'll see if you're qualified."
Stan followed the man inside, observing his surroundings. The first thing he noticed was that the hall was incredibly large and full of all kinds of small decorations, candles and flower arrangements, but still, it was very neat, everything almost shining. On his right was a huge staircase, build in the Victorian style (Stan assumed so, since he knew nothing of architecture) and made of dark oak. On the left side was a door, slightly ajar, and Stan could see that behind that there was a hallway. The red-head lead him to a huge living room, and the only word to describe it perfectly was, in Stan's mind, a simple 'whoa'. The room was lit by several chandeliers, made of crystal and gold (another 'whoa' entered Stan's mind). This room was even more decorative than the hall: there were millions of small crystal animals arranged in a perfect line in the brown shelf that took most of the left side of the room; many strange-looking candlesticks; large paintings by some past masters (Stan even thought he recognized one as Monet's); a sofa; an oval table and four chairs around it. The man sat down by the table and gestured Stan to do so as well. He hesitated a moment.
"Um, uh... I'd prefer to stand," he finally blurted out, when the man's gaze had turned to somewhat confused.
"O-kay," the man stuttered, pursing his lips slightly. "So then, mister... what was your name again?"
Stan could have been offended: he had introduced himself already, but since he needed to make a good impression, he just smiled nervously. "Stan. Stan Marsh."
Then man smiled. "Stan. That's a nice name. Is that a short for Stanley?"
Stan cringed – he hated his real name, as his mother had always yelled that ominous "Stanley!" when he had done something wrong – but quickly masked his cringe as a smile. "Yeah. I mean, yes, sir."
The man nodded again at him and turned his look to the oval, dark table. He quickly pulled back a drawer and took out some papers, spreading them in front of him. "Alright then, Stanley." Stan cringed. "Tell me a little bit about yourself."
"Um... okay..." Stan gulped under the red-head's look, and continued: "Uh, what do you want to know, exactly?"
The redhead quirked an eyebrow, staring oddly at him. "Anything you believe will help me assert an opinion on you."
"Oh, okay," Stan said, feeling incredibly stupid. He had been here for only five minutes, and made a fool of himself already! "I'm twenty, finished my high school two years ago and... I need a job. I'm willing to do anything. Um, I mean, not that literally, but metaphorically, or something..."
The man chuckled softly. "I see. You said you finished high school. What about college?"
Stan frowned. He knew this would come up, but he really didn't want to talk about his college experiences. On the other hand, lying wouldn't do any good either. "Well, I got a scholarship there, but, uh... lost it after an accident. I was a member of the football team and hurt my leg, and I couldn't play anymore. And, um..." He grew more and more uncomfortable under the man's gaze, but bravely continued: "I can't afford college, so I'll have to wait for few years and gather money for that."
Great, just put on a rag and start begging on money, Stan cynically thought to himself.
The man nodded again, then sighed softly. "I see. Well, I hope your little accident won't bother your work here. That is, if I decide that you will do it."
So he hadn't noticed the limping yet. Stan decided to selfishly use that at his advantage. "N-no, it won't. My leg's completely healed, I just can't play anything rough again."
For a lifetime, he sighed in his mind, but said nothing aloud.
"That's good then," the redhead said, scribbled some things down, and turned the page. "So tell me, Stanley," Stan cringed again. "Why do you think I should hire you or for the job?"
Oh, shit, Stan thought. He really hadn't thought about that. "Well, I... I'm really handy at anything practical, like fixing stuff"—lie—"or cleaning"—another lie—"or cooking"—well, that was a half-truth—"and, uh, showing people out."
Crap. No making jokes at first meeting, dumbass! Stan panicly thought.
The redhead blinked. "O-kay... hopefully, that last merit won't be needed," he said, marked something down and lifted his head up to stare up at him again.
"I'll be honest with you, Stanley." Oh, nevermind. "I only need one servant. This house, though big, does not need two. My previous servant, a kind lady, had to quit a few days ago due to old age. As you can probably notice, the house is already beginning to mess. The job is mainly to keep the house clean and cook for me, as I don't really have the time to do so myself. You will get one day off a week, mostly Monday, as this is the day in which I attend to business meetings in Denver. Payment is fair, I believe, and you will be allowed to live here. If I may say so myself, I think living here would be for the best, as the house needs frequent care. Any questions?"
Actually, there were millions of questions in Stan's head, but he couldn't say anything.
Only one servant in a mansion like this? Are you nuts?
What is your name, for god's sake, I told you mine!
What's the pay like?
Live here? With you? Oh, god, what will all my friends say!
Instead, and against a better judgment, he just said: "When do I start?"
The man smiled and put the papers down. "Whoever said you're hired?"
Stan put a puppy look on his face: he was disgusted to use that weapon, as it was something he usually did to entertain his father and to beg something from his mother, but since the man hadn't yet thrown him out, he might as well. "I make delicious pancakes." (That wasn't a lie, he had once gotten even his sister to grunt that they were good.)
The man laughed. "Alright, alright. Look, you seem like a trustworthy person, though I don't know about your ability to keep this mansion intact. Tell you what: I'll let you work here for a month, a test period, if you will, and we'll see from there, okay? Just to make things clear: I'm only hiring you because the only people who came by for that position were some blond girl who apparently thought she'll get a shidduch"— what? — "out of it, and some guy who couldn't even button his shirt right. Do you think you can start tomorrow?"
Stan smiled widely. "Sure!"
The man rose from the chair and smiled widely at him. "Okay, great. I'll show you around, and you can come here tomorrow as early as possible." He started going back in the direction they came, and then the man stopped abruptly and turned around to face him. "By the way, I seem to have forgot my manners. My name's Kyle. Kyle Broflovski."
Stan, wanting to make a good impression, plainly answered, "nice to meet you" and gave a polite smile to Kyle.
"...right. Follow me."
They went back to the hall, and turned to the hallway that Stan had seen when he entered. There were five doors, each of them ajar. (This seemed to be typical in the Broflovski manor, Stan noticed.) Kyle opened the first room, not entering it.
"This is the kitchen," he presented, gesturing Stan to come closer. Stan took a peek in the room: it was considerably small for such a big house, but it had everything a cook would need, starting from a high-tech oven to an induction stove. There were piles of dishes everywhere, half-eaten sandwiches on the counter, a cucumber on the cutting board and a tea pot filled with (probably cold) tea.
Kyle coughed softly into his right fist. "As you can see," he started, moving slightly to the left in order to allow Stan to enter the room, "it's a tad messy. I'd like you to clean around here first thing tomorrow morning."
Stan smiled awkwardly, bad thoughts already starting to fill his mind. Even without the cucumber, or the tea pot, or the piles of dishes, the fact that one of the Teflon pans had been clearly misused and that the kitchen knives were in completely wrong places in their own, wooden rack was enough to make Stan doubt that this was the worst thing he'd see in this house. His new boss was obviously messy, not just "messy".
Oh, and top of that, without any information of the real world. Stan cringed at the thought of him using a Teflon pan like that – his mother would've yelled for him for hours.
Aloud, he just said: "Sure."
"Okay, great," Kyle said and gestured for him to follow him farther down the hall. He opened a narrow door and switched on the light. "This is the storage room. You know, cans, drinks, various food items. I hope you will find it usable. Oh no, no need to enter," he said as Stan tried to pass him into the room. "Just know it's here. Now," he continued, closing (not fully!) the door behind him. "Over here," he pointed to the right, "is a room I think you'd find enjoyable. It has a pool-table, beer fridge, big screen TV... over there is my work room. Please, always make sure to knock before entering! Over there," he said as he pointed at the last door in the hallway, "is a small lounge. I have a few books there, I hope you will enjoy them."
Kyle put a finger to his chin then, thinking deeply. "Though I believe you will find most of them boring, as they deal with economics and the likes." Stan frowned. Kyle apparently noticed it, as he waved his hand quickly and continued: "Not that I look down on you, I find them boring myself."
Stan found himself suddenly smiling to this strange man, especially after this last line. Kyle nodded to himself as he made sure he covered all the rooms in the main hallway, and then turned around and walked back the way they came, gesturing Stan to follow. They returned to the hall in which Stan had been interviewed, and Kyle led them to a big glass door. He pressed a switch and the shade was pulled up, revealing a huge back yard. Kyle unlocked the door and led them out. "The gardener tends the front and back yards about three times a week. It's a shame that the weather's been chilly lately... As you can see, there's a wooden sitting corner under that gazebo over there..."
Stan's eyes widened as he admired the gaz-what-ever, never having seen one before. All the flowerbeds looked impossibly perfect, only completing the look of the smaller building. It was the color of cream, with a tad darker roof and white roses planted all around it. His instant reaction was: "Can I spend my breaks in there?"
Kyle laughed heartily. "You can spend your breaks however you'd like. Now, follow me." Kyle led them to a long shade, where Stan's eyes widened at the large, heated pool he saw there.
A "… can I live in there?" escaped Stan's lips before he could even think, no dumbass, still no making jokes at first meeting.
Kyle laughed awkwardly at his statement. "No, no. Come on, let me show you to your room."
They went back the same way, through the living room and hall, now only climbing up the stairs to the next level. There were too many rooms for Stan to count at one glance (all with their doors slightly open, except for two), but Kyle dismissed them and led him to the last door in the huge hallway. Stan briefly noted that all the doors had different kind of decorations on them and were made of different woods; the house was suddenly starting to look like an absurd collection of abandoned puzzle pieces.
Kyle opened the door and entered. "This is my room," he said, pointing at a huge, oval bed next to the window. The room, though big, contained only a closet, a small vanity, and the bed. What seemed like a very expensive carpet covered the floor, and a small door at the side led to a private bathroom. "Off-limits, besides when you clean," Kyle said firmly, stepped out and closed the door after him. "Now, to your room," he said.
Stan's soon-to-be-room was at the other end of the hallway. "I hope this serves your expectations," Kyle said as he entered.
Stan felt a small pang of disappointment when he first looked at the room: compared to the earlier decorative halls and pool tables and heated pools, it looked quite simple. There was a bed in the left corner, a closet next to it (its door slightly ajar, naturally), a table beside the window, from which there was a clear view to the garden and the gazebo. On the right side of the room there was a small bookshelf that took only one third of the wall space, and a painting hanging next to it. Stan didn't recognize the artist, but one thing he realized: it surely wasn't as valuable as the ones he had seen in the living room or in the main hall.
"It looks nice," he said, feeling actually satisfied after he'd observed it for a while.
"Great," Kyle said and went to the closet, and Stan stared in confusion as he opened it and retrieved a black dress, French-Maid style. "Unfortunately," Kyle said as he observed the dress, bemused, "I do not have an outfit ready for a male-servant. I do not assume that you'd like to wear this dress..."
"Huh? NO!" Then Stan caught himself, trying to mend his aggressive outburst: "Um, I mean, uh, that would be, kind of... you know... um..."
"Gay?" Kyle suggested, frowning.
"Um, that too," Stan confusedly admitted, trying to come up with a better word, "but I mean... uh... awkward. It wouldn't even fit me."
Kyle stared at him for a few long seconds, then shook his head softly. He approached Stan and put a long, slender arm on his shoulder. "You're cool," he said simply and went out.
Stan blinked few times. What... just happened? he thought confusedly, not able to decide was his new boss a little strange, really cool or a nutjob. Finally, he just concluded that whatever the reason, Kyle seemed to like him, and that was what mattered most right now.
Kyle showed him to the front door and opened it with a smile. "Well then, Stan," he said, and Stan breathed a sigh of relief as his new boss finally used a normal name. "It was nice meeting you, and I will see you tomorrow morning." His cell-phone rang suddenly, and Kyle fished it out of his pocket, a huge smile spreading on his lips as he saw the caller ID.
"Token!" he said happily into the phone, then looked down at Stan with a confused look that said: are you still here?
Stan took the hint, smiled a bit and waved. Kyle didn't answer to his gesture, but Stan hadn't expected him to: after all, the door was already half-closed and he was talking to his cell enthusiastically.
As Stan stepped out of the large gate, he felt his own cell vibrating in his pocket. He took it out and answered quietly. "Hey mom," he said. "Yeah, yeah, the... owner accepted me. No, not a waiter, I'm the uh... cleaning... guy. Yeah, I know, can you show me a bit how you're cleaning? No, I'm not having a concussion, I need to learn how to do it for the job, okay? Yeah, see you soon. Bye." He hung up, stared at the clouded sky and sighed heavily, wondering how to phrase his moving-out statement.
Stan pocketed his hands with a renewed confidence. Hey, at least he had a job now. Who cared about the fetishes or abnormalities of his boss, like inability to close doors or misusing pans, when he had a place to live and reasonable paycheck?
To Be Continued…
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