Chemistry

A/N: It's short, it's something, I've had bad writer's block recently, hopefully this isn't completely terrible.
Part of my goal to write about every SP pairing possible and find some love for all of them. I've never been a huge fan of K Squared, but we'll see how well I do, hmm? A lot of this was inspired by Chemistry of a Car Crash by Shiny Toy Guns as well as, and I hate to say it, the audio genocide that is Fool For Love by Stefy. God I have weird musical tastes.
But hey, anything that actually gets me writing these days is welcome...
Warnings: Sex, but nothing graphic, mostly implied, as well as swearing and a slightly odd writing style.
Pairings: Kenny/Kyle, Stan/Kyle, as well as bits of Kenny/Craig, Craig/Tweek, Kenny/Wendy and Stan/Wendy.

One thing about that Kenny McCormick, he has a good memory.

He remembers Kyle calling him nearly every night for a week straight, shattering Kenny's own perception of the best friends make for best lovers formula. He remembers telling Kyle to break it off, telling him it just wasn't worth it if all they were going to do was fight. He remembers Kyle refusing every night until the last, until he said something like "Do you really think so?"

Kenny remembers being like, "Yeah, you know I'm right."

Kenny thinks sex complicates things. Relationships are always messed up when sex comes into the picture, Kenny thinks. Like with his parents. Things had been fine until this insisted on procreating, and what had that led to? Bad things, Kenny remembers, clutching at his stomach every time he thinks about hearing that his mother was pregnant. He hates that word, he hates pregnant, he hates babies.

No longer are they seven, eight, nine or ten. Not even sixteen, Kenny turned eighteen a while ago, he graduated a month ago, and he still remembers, most of all, how Kyle's hair looked against their green gowns. Not the vibrant red it usually was, still tucked away under his ushanka, but Kenny remembers seeing the recluse strands that were tell-tale of a quick dye job the night before.

Kenny remembers leaving the ceremony with Kyle Broflovski; he remembers driving to Kyle's house in silence. He remembers the dinner Kyle's mother made, the flash of the camera, Ike asking him to read a story, because Kenny always does voices when he reads stories. Kenny hates babies, but he doesn't hate kids. He likes innocence, he likes not knowing, he likes purity.

But Kenny could care less about being any of those things himself.

Most of all, though, Kenny remembers the night before graduation.

He remembers Kyle calling him and saying something along the lines of "I can't figure this out."

And Kenny said "Can't figure what out?"

"Do you know how to dye hair?" Kyle had said in response, his voice dropping in volume.

Kenny remembers being like "Duh."

He remembers walking a few blocks to Kyle's houseat midnight and sneaking in through the back door. He remembers Kyle's pajama pants, too short becauseKyle had turned out too tall for his own good, and Kyle's pajama shirt, too big because he was self-conscious even though most girls would have killed to be as skinny as him. Kenny remembers pushing the sleeves of his hoodie up, pulling the gloves over his hands, making a stupid joke while Kyle laughed nervously.

He remembers saying, "Uh, Kyle, this is, like…a girl on the front, you know that right?"

"They don't have a lot of that color for guys," Kyle had been like. "They mostly had black…and I don't want my hair black."

"Understandable," Kenny had said, because it was. No one wanted their hair to be the same color as their ex and, in that case, black wasn't a good choice for Kenny either. Of course, Kenny doesn't remember making a lot of good decisions in the course of his lifetime. "But really, Kyle, blond? I think you're mom is gonna faint when she sees you're not a redhead anymore."

Kenny remembers thinking to himself that he might faint too.

He remembers mixing the dye together, the chemicals reacting in a way he didn't understand; he was hardly a cosmetology expert. He remembers Kyle telling him a story about how Cartmanwas being a jerk. He remembers rolling his eyes and being like, "Oh, surprise, surprise, Kyle," but knowing that he would much rather be in that tiny, badly decorated bathroom with Kyle at midnight than anywhere else in the world.

Sometimes Kenny thinks about things that other people don't think about. Like who thought up counting sheep to fall asleep, because it doesn't work very well. And how other people see the world, because isn't there a chance that we all see things completely different. One thing that Kenny thinks is extremely interesting is the first few minutes of, well, of being.

Were their things and, if so, did they die?

Some people say Kenny is preoccupied with death, but he would argue he's preoccupied with life. They're one in the same Kenny would say, as he remembers the fusion of the hair dye and Kyle's natural hair, from the roots out, Kyle talking the entire time. About how pointless college felt and what his mom made for dinner and what Christophe had said to him a week ago and the new movie coming out that he wanted to see.

Kyle had been like, "Do you think I'm going to look stupid?"

"Right now yeah." Because Kyle had to wear what was basically a shower cap for the next thirty minutes. And the thirty minutes had passed with Kenny talking about how pissed off he was at Wendy for dumping him not a month before graduation because she felt that 'they' simply weren't going anywhere. Kenny was like, "Where were we going to do anyway? Doesn't she know no one leaves South Park?"

He remembers Kyle shrugging in answer and staring the mirror and shifting from side to side. He remembers Kyle's even, controlled breathing, his eyes closed, a sure sign the hair dye was actually working, when it hurt. He remembers Kyle wincing, slightly, you might have missed it if you had coughed.

"Most good things are the fruition of pain," Kenny remembers saying as he lifted up the retarded shower cap-thing to check if the dye was settled in enough. Kenny remembers dumping the remaining items out of the box of hair dye and throwing the conditioner to Kyle, he remembers being like, "It's all yours now, good luck." And he remembers leaving, because it was a very Kenny thing to do.

He remembers the next day and Kyle's strawberry blond hair, the brassy overtones that had the ex-redhead freaking out as they were forced to get alphabetically into line to receive their diplomas. Kenny remembers Kyle grabbing his arm and saying something like "Do you think Stan saw me? I didn't tell him…he's probably going to kill me for not telling him about this, don't you think? Because that's what I think and usually I'm right about this kind of stuff."

"I'm sure he'll say something to me." But, Kenny remembers thinking to himself, like, why was Stan's opinion that much more important than his own? Kenny remembers thinking Kyle looked good, if not a bit odd, with his new hair. He remembers getting into line next to Stan, no one between them alphabetically; he remembers feeling bad because Stan had looked miserable for a few weeks now. Ever since Kenny had convinced Kyle to end things.

Stan had turned to Kenny and said, "You know why he did it, right? Why he called you?" Kenny had been trying to wipe a stain off of his gown, cursing his bad luck, but the statement, he remembers, made him look up, questioningly, into the eyes of someone he considered to be one of his best friends. "He does what you tell him to, he doesn't listen to anyone else. I said he would dye his hair if you told him he would look better."

"I didn't tell him anything," Kenny remembers saying, dropping the hem of his gown as he raised his hands up into the air. "I just dyed his hair, who gives a fuck? It's not like you own him."

And, as far as Kenny remembers, Stan had said something stupid like, "I never said I owned him."

So Kenny had been like, "I never said you said that."

That was even before things started getting really stupid, Kenny remembers.

"You know what I mean."

"No I honestly don't know what you mean, you're kind of being an asshole right now though, if that's what you mean."

Then, Kenny remembers connection, crimson and falling backwards. He remembers that the graduation ceremony was being held on the football field, that they were behind by an hour, maybe two, and the stadium lights were on because it was already dark out. He remembers Stan yelling something, but he doesn't remember what, likewise he remembers yelling something back, he remembers getting up, he remembers some parents gasping in surprise, he remembers blood.

Kenny remembers Kyle standing in the background, past where some of their peers were gathering, either embarrassed or excited. He remembers Kyle looking disappointed and he remembers the weirdest feeling of upset in the entire world. Kenny remembers being sure that Kyle was disappointed in Stan, but that he fully expected something like that from Kenny. Oddly enough he remembers using that fact as fuel to punch Stan a few more times.

Ruining commencement ceremonies, it turned out, was an excellent way to not earn your diploma.

After some number of community service hours Kenny remembers getting his diploma. In a private 'ceremony,' they called it, but it was little more than the certificate passing hands and a quick handshake before everyone went on with their day. But Kenny doesn't remember graduation, he won't ever remember caps and gowns so vividly as he remembers the broken nose Stan gave him.

Kenny remembers looking at Kyle's hair a month later. The blondfading, his roots coming in. He remembers messing up Kyle's hair and telling him that he might as well shave it all off, that blond was a terrible choice for his complexion. "You'd blend in perfectly with the skinheads," he remembers saying with a grin, he remembers Kyle slapping his hand away, he remembers pushing Kyle, he remembers getting pushed back, he remembers falling backwards.

But in this case, he doesn't remember blood. In fact, Kenny remembers pleasure without pain a first to end all firsts, he remembers acting like a fourth grader, fighting just for fun, laughing and then he remembers being pulled back into reality: they were two eighteen year old guys rolling around on the floor together.

He remembers Kyle blushing, he remembers telling the ex-redhead that his cheeks were the same color as his hair had once been. He remembers saying it halfheartedly, quietly, he remembers getting silent. He remembers the awkwardness of lying there on the floor next to Kyle, uncomfortable but not wanting to say anything. He remembers the minuscule touch of flesh on flesh, Kyle's fingertips just barely brushing his cheek.

It is the first time that Kenny can remember really running away from something.

He remembers the mirror in the bathroom when he got back to his house, he remembers his stomach tightening as he traced where he knew some faint remnant of Kyle's warmth must be. How well did fingerprints translate onto skin? Kenny remembers his mouth feeling dry, he remembers his mother pounding on the door and telling him to get out of the damn bathroom. He remembers leaning his cheek against the cool glass of the mirror, forgetting any warmth Kyle had given him as he closed his eyes, wishing away memories.

Sometimes Kenny hates his memory.

He remembers colors changing, winter to spring, spring to summer, summer to fall, fall to winter and starting all over again. He remembers red to blond, he remembers the feeling of Kyle's hair under his gloved hands, the wince of his friend as the dye set in. He remembers laughter and childhood and all of that ending the night they graduated, he remembers everything.

The weirdest part about not being in school, to Kenny, was always that you didn't automatically see everyone every day. Life, he came to discover, was very lonely when your time wasn't occupied with, not only classes, but also the people you had known for well over half your life. Kenny remembers no one keeping in touch as they went away to college or became busy with jobs.

Kenny remembers getting a job, saving up money, moving out. He remembers the only people who kept in touch.

Stan, apologizing every time he could for the first few months after the graduation incident. He was always like, "You know I didn't mean it, man. I don't know what came over me. It's just…Kyle, man, it's just hard to feel like you're losing everything at once. I was scared, you know, aren't you scared sometimes, Kenny?"

Kenny remembers answering by saying some lie like, "Nah, that's gay." A lie if there ever was one, he can admit, because Kenny is scared of a lot of things, namely losing things. Kenny remembers losing a lot of things, he remembers losing Kelly (long distance relationships suck, Kenny remembers) and he remembers losing Wendy, he also remembers that he lost Cartman at some point. They had ceased being friends and Kenny remembers how hard that was, harder than he would have thought.

It was all because of sex, too. He lost Kelly because, well, besides being eight or so years old, there was simply no way to actually do anything when you were across the country from them. He lost Wendy because she thought all he was interested in was sex, and with Wendy…that was true, but with other people it wasn't. As for Cartman, well, that had all been Craig's fault.

Kenny had never been with Craig, per se, but he remembers finding the Nommel boy attractive. He remembers that he was part of what some people referred to as Craig's List, a literal list that Craig had apparently made of everyone he wanted to fuck in tenth grade, the majority of them, or so people said, being blonde. It was rumored to include, if Kenny remembers correctly, Bebe, Thomas, Clyde and, naturally, Kenny himself.

Kenny remembers, but is ashamed to admit, that when he heard he was on Craig's List he had lit up inside. It had been the first time, he remembers, since Kelly, since third grade that anyone had shown interest in him. And perhaps that is why the next thing Kenny remembers is seeking Craig out, finding him behind the school where he smoked and more-or-less offering to be the first to go of Nommel's Blonde Conquests.

Craig had been more then willing. Not that he was…well not that he was some sort of whore who used Kenny and threw him aside, but he made the point that all of this – his list, Kenny remembers – meant nothing. He had been like, "It's all just prelude, a professional relationship, that's all sex is. I'm not ready for a real relationship right now, but I am ready to, you know, fuck someone, no strings attached."

Kenny remembers being like, "Is that why Tweek isn't on the list?"

And maybe, in retrospect, that was why Craig hadn't had sex with him. Maybe that was why Kenny remembers Craig quite literally fucking him no less than five times, and maybe a few more than that. For as much as his memory is worth in other situations, Kenny finds that he has blocked out most of his sexcapades with Craig Nommel, not because it was bad, but more because it had nothing to do with emotions.

Craig was good at what he did, Kenny remembers that much.

But Craig doesn't keep in touch and neither does Cartman, because if there's a million things Cartmancan't stand – and there are, Kenny remembers at least that many things that the fat boy would admit to hating – there are two things battling for the number one spot, to receivethe most hatred from him: Jews and fags. Kyle was doomed from the start, and Kenny was worse than just a fag, he was a poor fag and that was almost as bad as a Jewfag.

But Cartman…it doesn't upset Kenny. What upsets him the most is Kyle, the way that they act around each other. Actually, it might be more the way they don't act around each other. Most of the time it seems like Kenny gets a call from the ex-redhead after Kyle and Stan spend time together. As 'just friends' of course, which probably makes both of them miserable, but Stan doesn't call Kenny, Kyle does.

"Wuh-why did we have to ruin what we had?" Kyle always says, sobbing into something, usually the bright orange, worn material of Kenny's parka. "I just want to be his best friend again." And Kenny shifts awkwardly, too much heat pulsating in his body, a huge weakness if there ever was one: seeing people cry makes him horny. Which is kind of becoming a problem since Kenny has become Kyle's own personal counselor of sorts.

"What should I do?" he constantly asks. "What can I do to fix this?"

'Move on, you retard, move the fuck on to someone else,' Kenny can remember wanting to say on a particularly bad night. "Stop doing this to me, stop doing this to yourself," he had said instead. He remembers Kyle looking at him in surprise, a shock of blond bangs falling into his blue-green eyes. "Kyle you can't keep doing this. You're not making anything better by crying to me all the time."

"I know," Kyle had said and then, Kenny remembers not being able to hold back a small gasp of surprise as Kyle pulled him close and said, "I need you to fix it, Kenny."

He remembers other nights where all things Stan Marsh are forgotten. Nights where he and Kyle did…whatever. Video games, Kenny remembers the most, clicking buttons and startling images of destruction and gore on the television screen. He remembers letting Kyle win nine times out of ten and not because he couldn't bear to see Kyle get angry like he did when he lost. No, it was something more like being able to remember that smile better. Kyle always did smile when he won a game.

Kenny remembers a darkened movie theater, cliché moments playing on the screen and in real life. As the girl in the movie begged the heartless serial killer to spare her, Kenny felt his hand brush Kyle's, he remembers moving to quickly get away, to make it clear it was a mistake and nothing more. He remembers, though, that Kyle took his hand, entwining their fingers. He remembers letting his eyes closed as the girl in the movie screamed and Kenny felt more blissful than ever.

He remembers dying the next day, a freak train accident on his way to work. He remembers being angry for the first time in years that he had died.

The feeling of being alive, of course he remembers that, it's like electricity coursing through his veins. He remembers his first priority being Kyle, he remembers leaving his own bed, disregarding the chill when he walked outside. Ran, not walked, actually, he remembers. Kenny remembers the door opening, the ex-redhead rubbing his eye with the palm of his hand and yawning before he was like, "Kenny, what are you doing here?"

Kenny remembers grabbing Kyle's hands, entwining their fingers once again, he remembers it feeling so right. He remembers making a mental note to ask Kyle what shampoo he used because, Jesus, those red curls felt like silk when he ran his hands through them. He remembers Kyle's lips being chapped, imperfect and damn wonderful, he remembers being slightly shocked that it was Kyle who leaned in for the kiss, but he doesn't regret not making the first move.

Kenny likes to be wanted, it doesn't happen often, but he likes it when he does.

It's like watching a home video, remembering things, Kenny thinks. Your voice sounds out of place and awkward, you have to wonder 'Is that really me?' You look different than you do now. You have to cringe at the mistakes you made, the things you said that you shouldn't have. Kenny feels that way as he remembers things, time and time again.

Telling Kyle to end things with Stan. Mistake. Dying Kyle's hair. Mistake. Calling Stan an 'asshole' and getting a punch in the face. Mistake. Worst of all, of all the things he can remember: getting that close to Kyle. Mistake.

It was like a car crash waiting to happen, a brand new car, bright, fresh, exciting – maybe a little too much exciting. Kenny remembers sneaking over to Kyle's house in the middle of the night. He remembers the smell of Kyle's room, like laundry detergent and freshly sharpened pencils, like elementary school. He remembers Kyle's college textbooks being pushed to the floor, he remembers fighting for dominance. He remembers winning and losing, then winning again.

He remembers Kyle, every aspect, from the never-to-be-tamed hair to the hypnotic eyes, the fact that Kyle brushed his teeth at least four times a day and always tasted minty fresh. Kenny remembers contrast as he felt dirty around the cleanliness that Kyle constantly created. He remembers dynamics, crescendos and accents, and most of all he remembers pain and pleasure; the pleasure more so, the pain a distant memory by now.

He remembers daytime, hanging around like nothing was different.

He remembers being like, "You should dye your roots, you know, your hair is starting to look...odd."

He remembers the first sign that things weren't going to work out, "No, I'm just waiting for it to grow out." No one ever noticed the first sign.

Then, as fast as those months went by, they ended. They sped up and then abruptly slowed down, Kyle put the car in park and they sat in silence, Kenny tilting his head to the side in confusion as Kyle stared ahead, tapping his fingers against the steering wheel in some erratic rhythmic beat. He remembers opening his mouth to say Kyle's name, to put a question mark at the end, to ask a question that could have any number of disastrous or wonderful answers.

Kyle was just like, "I can't do this any more."

So Kenny said, "Okay."

"It's nothing against you," Kenny remembers Kyle saying with a small smile, like that was supposed to make him feel better. "It's just that I know how this is going to end and I can't keep doing it when I know…I'm really sorry."

"No it's okay," Kenny had said in answer. He remembers smiling, he remembers faking it, he remembers Kyle's hair looking weirder than ever, the red almost all the way grown out, ever-so-fading blond at the ends. Kyle remembers running his hands through that hair, he remembers not caring that it looked completely weird, because, he had always thought with a self-satisfied smirk, behind closed doors that hair was his.

Not anymore, Kenny remembers thinking as Kyle dropped him off at his apartment building. He remembers shutting the door, he remembers not crying, he remembers sitting on his bed, the springs squeaking to life after days of not feeling his weight on them, and just sitting. No thoughts at all, Kenny remembers, just feelings surrounding him as he took in what had just happened, what he had just lost.

Kenny remembers not being able to sleep, the helpless of lying in bed when he was sure that no one else in town was asleep as he was alone and plagued with insomnia. He remembers closing his eyes and seeing only darkness, he remembers opening them and seeing only the same. He remembers the emptiness of not having someone next to him. And then he remembers crying.

He remembers Stan and Kyle, happy, and he remembers, selfishly, feeling bad for himself as he watched the now, completely, once again, redhead, make it clear that he was with Stan again.

Most of all he remembers wanting someone to notice. Not just anyone, but Kyle. He remembers Kyle noticing, but not doing anything, because everyone knew Kenny McCormick could fend for himself, could make it through everything, could laugh when most people were at their darkest hour.

And, honestly, Kenny does remember laughing to himself as he fell.

He knows he won't stay dead for long, he remembers it as his curse and his blessing.

He's just hoping that, somehow, he won't remember a thing when he wakes up.

A/N: Turned out…a lot different than I thought it would, to be honest.
Review and let me know how I did…I'm not sure if I like this. s:
-tweekers