Authors Note:Whoa, okay so I know its been forever since I've updated this or anything in the SP fandom, but I suddenly had a random burst of "I NEED to write SP!" course through me, and this was the result. I really hope to see some reviews on this to keep my inspiration for this fandom kindled.
Chapter 3- Reunion
It was the sent of Hugo cologne that pulled me from the star-deep nirvana of sleep, followed by the fanning of warm lips against my temple. I groaned at first, not feeling up to opening my eyes yet; it still felt so early, though even noon would feel like a 4 AM wake-up call after being slammed in the mattress half the night. Cartman was merciless in everything that he did--rough, careless, relentless. Lovemaking was definitely not in his vocabulary, and I was the one who suffered because of it. Sometimes it wasn't so bad. He was a fatass, after all; he only had so much energy. Other times he was like a machine, running on an endless stream of sugar-shock vigor that left my insides sore and my body fatigued. It was nights like those (unless I was running on my own fire-fueled energy) that I ached for Stan's unique brand of feather-laced, passionate touches, still impressed into my memory like the fresh welts of a branding iron.
The shadow moved above me, and the fluttering of soft kisses butterflied down my face, stopping and retracting at my jawbone. I stirred, giving one last mournful whimper, and pried my eyelids apart.
Cartman was leaning over the bed, adoration softening his usual scowl, partially shadowed against the pale, cloud-covered light streaming in through the curtains. He brushed a loose curl off my forehead and let his fingers loiter just above my ear for a moment, looking over each feature of my face, taking in and memorizing every line and curve. He offered a faint smile when his eyes met mine.
"You've got morning wood," he said, kneading along my inner thigh. The touch was deceptive, animated with an intentionally seductive rhythm. I snorted, then breathed out a soft laugh. His nose scrunched up. "And morning breath. Jesus Christ, Kahl, go brush your teeth."
And just like that, the comforting gesture of his rare, heart-squeezing smile manifested into the wicked grin every person within the city limits was familiar with. The asshole had broken through the neon rays of affection once again, revealing the hideous bastard lurking beneath the surface.
"Shut the hell up, fatass." I shoved at him, squinting and rubbing my eyes as the window light he'd been concealing pooled around his form and then poured against my face as pulled away.
He whistled a particularly annoying tune as he moved to his dresser and began to straighten the tie on his suit.
I stretched my arms, freezing mid-yawn when the formality of his attire began to sink in: the tie, the suit, the nearly overbearing amount of cologne clinging to his skin like thick clouds of cigarette smoke. My eyes shifted to the Hitler tribute calendar above his desk, scanning the glossed surface of each blocked day for the seventeenth.
Oh, God... it was fucking Sunday! And that meant Cartman would be forced to release me of my invisible bindings under the obligatory duty of his religion. After a solid two days of being held captive, I was finally going to get to see Stan.
I smiled and bit my lip, trying to hold back the cry of triumph bubbling in my chest. foldING my hands in my lap, I actually thanked Jesus for the Roman Catholic church. It was a goddamned miracle.
"So, Kahl," Cartman said, rubbing a mound of gel between his hands. "What ever are you going to do all by yourself this morning?"
I reopened my eyes, smile and prayer-laced hands dropping simultaneously. He was too damn chipper, and whenever he sounded that happy it was cause for suspicion. I avoided looking at my cell phone, just inches away on his side table. One glance and he'd know I was itching to grab it and call Stan the second he stepped out the door. But then there was that part of me that knew he already knew; he wasn't that stupid.
"You never cared what I did on Sunday's before," I said.
His eyes flashed, but he hesitated only a second before returning to prep himself.
"That's a very interesting thing for you to say, Kahl." He paused a moment, combing his hair to the side. "I like to think I keep an attentive eye on you. Just because I let you sleep in my bed doesn't mean I've forgotten what a dirty Jew-rat you are."
I knew what he was doing. He was trying to piss me off on purpose, get me all riled up so I couldn't enjoy my freedom. Fuck him. I was going to keep on smiling no matter what sort of bullshit he flung at me. Today I was going to see Stan; nothing could get me down.
"And I know what a malicious bastard you are, so I guess we'll call it even." I shrugged. Maybe if I acted as if it didn't matter, the novelty would wear off and he'd shut the hell up.
Cartman's jaw twitched, eyes narrowing to cosmic pinpricks. "If you don't brush your teeth I'm not kissing you goodbye."
"Maybe that's what I was hoping for."
"Funny, Kahl, that's very funny. I'm flattered you're trying so hard to impress me with your charm, but I'm afraid charisma is just another trait Jews are incapable of acquiring."
He was still too happy. Even the slight frustration I had managed to induce was a thin, artificial veil over the way he was positively glowing. And it wasn't genuine happiness either. For one, he was never genuinely happy; for two, it wasn't happiness to begin with—it was triumph. The bastard was gloating and I couldn't figure out why.
"What the hell are you so happy about?"
Cartman glanced at me through the mirror, then carefully set down his comb and turned, walking toward me. "Let's see: I just woke up from a long night of making love to my boyfriend, it's a beautiful Sunday morning, and in a moment I'll be biting into a warm and buttery home-made blueberry muffin while I head off with my mother to church. What wouldn't I be happy about? " He paused, a wicked grin slashing his face as he trailed a finger down my throat. "Besides, I am so looking forward to seeing Stanley at the service. It's been such a long time."
How could I have been so stupid? Stan was a devout Christian; of course he would be going to church too. I had been too excited by the prospect of my imminent freedom and hadn't taken that into consideration. I wouldn't be seeing Stan while Cartman was gone, and that explained why he was so jolly he could put Santa Claus to shame. This whole thing was a game to him, and so far all the aces were stacked conveniently in his pile.
"You fat son of a bitch."
His smile only widened. "I can see that my assumption was correct. You've been waiting for this moment because you were going to run off to play kissy-face the second my mom's cheap Avon perfume cleared the house."
I batted his hand away and tried to get up, but he shoved me back down, beefy hands pinning me against the mattress by the shoulders. My eyes narrowed. "You are such a psycho."
"Touché, but I still own your nuts." Cartman's hand lashed out and grabbed my balls, squeezing in gentle pulses. A strangled whimper caught in my throat. I leaned up on my elbows, tensing at the sensation. It didn't hurt, but it was uncomfortable, and I didn't trust him to release me if I tried to thrash away.
"Let go," I said, trying to keep my voice even. Cartman's grip didn't let up, but he moved his palm up and back. My breath hissed through my teeth.
I was frozen, eyes trained on his dominating hand. "I'm not going to say it, fatass. Just let go." He gave a firm tug and leaned forward, placing his free hand against my stomach for support.
"Say it, Kahl. You know what I like to hear." His lips were against mine, breath hot and fresh with spearmint Listerine.
I hated that I liked it, hated that his complete lack of consideration and finesse kindled the sort of anger that sent lust blazing in venom-spiked darts through me. My body was reacting to his demand with embarrassing vigor, steady and merciless.
Cartman's teeth scraped along the curve of my jaw, gentle but threatening, the hand against my stomach curling into my shirt. I whimpered when the fingers of his other hand began massaging against my boxers, then tensed as they tightened again.
"Come on, Jew-boy."
"You do not own my nuts." The pressure increased, and I winced. This wasn't worth losing my balls over. "But I'm still yours."
Cartman's hand relaxed. I closed my eyes, rasping for air. He moved upward and kissed me roughly on the mouth, fingers curling into my hair—the motions more of a warning than anything else.
"Good boy," he whispered, and then finally pulled away, leaving me hard and trembling with a foul mixture of anger and humility.
It just kept getting better; now I was pissed off and horny.
Cartman was flattening his cowlick in the mirror on the back of the door, looking even more smug now that he'd gotten verbal confirmation of ownership. It was never enough that I was with him in any sense of the word, he needed constant assurance that I belonged to him.
It was childish and degrading, but hardly worth arguing over. After all, it was impossible under the enforcement of the constitution to own someone, so the only threat agreeing to such a ridiculous demand was harm to my own ego. But it was so stupid that the effects were more akin to laughing gas than a blow. If he wanted to pretend I was his dog, that was fine with me. I often pretended he was Stan when we were under the sheets, and that was a bite far more disparaging then his illusions. No doubt he'd be insulted beyond repair if that secret ever got out.
"Maybe you should just stay in today," he said, as if it were some great offering and he were a god extending the beauty of his mercy on me with this request. "If you're good, I'll bring Stanley over for a play date or something."
"I'm not five-years-old, you know," I snapped.
Through the mirror, his eyes gave me a cursory once-over, lingering hard on the front of my boxers. "Believe me, I know."
"Look, Cartman." I pushed myself from the bed and came up behind him, draping my arms around his neck. He reached up and took hold of my wrists. "I don't have anything to hide, but I do want to hang out with Stan. If it'll make you feel better, why don't we all go do something as a group when church lets out? You, me, Stan, Kenny—just like it used to be."
"Hmm..." He looked upward, his thumb rubbing tender circles into the back of my hand, then promptly threw me off, spinning me toward the other side of the room. "No."
I caught myself against the dresser, wincing as my thighs hit against the wooden ledge. I could actually feel the steady flow of malice swimming in rivers from my discarded form as I looked back up at his reflection. This wasn't the first time I wanted him dead.
"I don't trust Kenny any more than I trust your manipulative Jew-ass," he went on, turning from the mirror to face me again. A smiled hinted his lips for a moment when he saw my crumpled stance. I swiftly righted myself, holding my chin up an extra notch. "I wouldn't put it past him to distract me with something so that you and Stan can run off and make ass-babies behind a connivance store somewhere."
"I have a little more class than that," I snapped.
Cartman shrugged, his eyes impassive. "It only took an hour for me to get into your pants. You seem pretty easy to me."
I lurched myself at him, my fingers locking around his throat in an easy vice grip. Cartman stumbled back into the door, rattling the entire east side of the room with the impact. I was half hoping the mirror would shatter and prick against the butter-soft rolls of his fat, but with Cartman in constant possession of the aces in our fucked-up game of a relationship, I was holding all the jokers, and they were laughing at my expense.
"Mah God, it's so-" he paused to gasp, wheezing against the constraint of my fingers. "hot when you're...pissed off."
I slammed him against the door again, then pulled myself away. I'd gain nothing from killing the bastard, besides the ridiculously pleasurable endorphin rush that would surely course me as the life drained out of his eyes. And even then, I would not only have to explain why I had killed him, but also why the corpse was sporting a raging boner. It would be much simpler if he'd just get into some sort of accident; but even then he'd probably walk away without a scratch.
I didn't understand God's brand of justice. Cartman was the reincarnate of Hitler and he was practically immortal. The only conclusion I could reach was that neither Heaven nor Hell wanted him, and so it was agreed to keep him on Earth as long as possible. Let the mortals deal with him.
The dickwad was smirking again when he left, leaving me with a promise that my ass would be so raw by the time he got done with me that night that I'd need a tampon in the morning. It was possibly one of the sickest visuals ever.
I seethed for a while, then decided I'd rather not waste my time sulking over something I should have seen coming anyway. That was only giving Cartman what he wanted, and dating or not, I still hated him. I was determined to make the most of my free time, and the best way I could think of to accomplish that was to get a book and have a quiet breakfast by myself.
Lianne and I both had a love of suspense novels, and she'd given me permission to borrow any of the titles stacked on the oak bookcase in her room. I decided to take advantage of that today, and ten minutes later I was already engrossed in the pages of a crime thriller as I approached the small diner wedged between Raisins and Village Inn. It was one of my favorite places to go on Sundays because Cartman, for whatever reason, didn't realize I came here. That made it the absolute ideal place to hide out until Church ended, and then I'd be able to call Stan without interference.
I pushed the door with my hip and held it open for a lady exiting as I tucked the book beneath my arm. She thanked me pleasantly, and I smiled in return, holding my breath to prohibit inhalation of her offensively concentrated rose perfume. After she had passed, I exhaled sharply and fumbled into the diner, drawn in by the smell of fresh waffles, but faltered halfway through the entrance and stumbled a little as the door swung back to hit me.
Stan was behind the counter, a pink and comically frilly apron draped over his head. He was jotting down something on a small notepad, taking the order of a middle-aged couple at the end of the bar counter. He ripped the page out and stuffed the notepad back into his pocket, then turned and glanced up at me.
"Kyle!" he exclaimed, his eyes brightening.
The intensity of his presence was overwhelming, and I had to mentally coach myself out of my stupor. The mere sight of his smile took my breath away. I kicked myself into gear, realized I was already smiling, and pushed myself the rest of the way through the door. My legs felt stiff, but they still managed to get me across the pink and white tiled floor to the middle barstool.
"What are you doing here?" I asked.
Cartman would have made a snide remark about my apparent retardation, and Kenny would have replied with sarcasm. But Stan just smiled as he pulled out two crystal malt glasses from a stainless steel freezer.
"I guess working," he answered, sounding halfway between incredulous and amused. "I came in a few hours ago for an application. The guy working here asked if I've had my shots and then threw this appropriately humiliating apron at me and disappeared somewhere back there." He waved his hand off to the right, indicating the single swinging door leading into the kitchen. "I'd almost forgotten how...weird things are in South Park. I've actually missed the insanity, if you can believe that."
I grinned, thrilled he was happy to be back. "No place like home, huh?"
He nodded, eyes lingering over my throat for a strange half-second. His smile wavered a little. "So you managed to break your chains."
I blinked, momentarily startled he was able to talk so comfortably about that. "Yeah, I... guess I did."
We stared at each other, him cool and relaxed, me with bated breath.
"Sundays are...um," I cleared my throat, fidgeting with the silver napkin dispenser. I could see my reflection on the gleaming metal surface; I looked way too serious. "Sunday's are when I take some time out to read. You know, for fun. It's the only time alone I really get."
"I remember," Stan said, quietly. My eyes snapped back up to his. He was looking at my throat again, his expression thoughtful. "But you were always waiting for me under the tree right outside church, and then we'd go have breakfast together. You never went by yourself like this."
I shrugged, looking back down at my reflection. "I guess it's just different with Cartman. He'd probably think I was a stalker if I waited for him."
Stan snickered, pulling a smile out of me. It was a little awkward, but maybe this was going to be okay.
"I thought you'd be there," I said. "At church, I mean. You were the only one who never complained when you had to go."
He looked downward, discomfort twisting his face. "Yeah, I...guess I'm just not ready for that."
Something was off again, I could hear it in his tone, but I let it drop as he began gathering the necessary ingredients to fix his customers their order. He moved with a grace that could only be perfected with time well-spent in the kitchen, quick and efficient, no room to be clumsy.
I thumbed the edges of my book as I watched him start the creation of a breakfast shake by peeling a few bananas and breaking off pieces into a blender.
"Do you even know what you're doing?" I asked warily. "I haven't forgotten the one time you tried to make something, you know. Pancakes, and by the time you were finished there was more batter on me than there was in the frying pan."
Stan poured a measured cup of yogurt into the mixture, his eyes gleaming. "Ky, are you serious?"
"I'm dead serious! I smelled like IHOP for a week!"
A smile broke across his face, large and suspiciously wicked. "I did it on purpose."
I reeled back. "You what?"
"You do remember how we cleaned up the mess, don't you?"
"Of course I remember how we cleaned up the mess," I snapped. "We-"
Realization dawned on me very slowly. Stan had been the one who cleaned me up, by licking every square inch of my body. I suddenly couldn't manage to look him in the eye, instead averting my gaze downward. "That was a set-up?"
"Mmm hmm. So you see, Ky," he snapped the blender lid tight. "I know exactly what I'm doing. If memory serves me right, that was the most delicious breakfast I've ever eaten. Loads of protein."
"Stan!" I was surprised at his tactlessness, but I found myself laughing along with him anyway.
He pressed a silver button and the blender whirred to life. I reflexively ducked behind my book, sure I'd be speckled with pink if I didn't have some kind of cover. But the blender turned off a moment later, and when I lowered my book, cautiously, everything seemed to be in the same immaculate condition it had been when I stepped in. I was impressed.
"Where'd you learn kitchen grace?"
Stan was pouring the concoction into the malt glasses. He replaced the dirtied blender on its base and grabbed a can of whipped cream from a small refrigerator, shaking it patiently.
"When I was in Florida I worked at a little diner just on the edge of town." He paused to pop the lid off with his thumb and made several attempts at spraying a curl on top of the drinks, shaking it vigorously between each failed attempt. "And trust me, the place was decorated in colorful eruptions of volcanic food for a good while. What the hell is wrong with this thing?"
He aimed the nozzle of the can between his eyes and squeezed, successfully extracting an explosion of cream. He lurched backward, slamming into a shelf and knocking over a pile of kids-sized plastic cups. I was screaming with laughter before the last of them had even settled around him.
"That was," I started, pausing as I shook with mirth. "so goddamned funny."
"Ha ha." Stan pushed himself up, his dignity somehow magically intact, and went back to the drinks. This time, he topped them off with perfect spirals.
"There," I said, attempting to redeem myself for laughing at him. "You see, all you need to do is stop trying so hard. I'm already impressed, so there's no reason to be nervous."
I was trying to joke around, but Stan's eyes snapped up to mine, startled by the underlying flirtation. I wasn't sure why I said it. Instinct, maybe;we'd been openly flirting with each other since we were nine, for godssake. It was habit.
"You're right," he said. "I never had to try before. You were always naturally drawn to me."
Something about that sounded like a threat, but the words sent a trill of excitement up my spine. I ducked my head, unsure what to say to that. The words were there on my tongue, but they weren't good words. Not good for Cartman anyway.
Stan smiled wryly, tapped the countertop twice and then
slid the shakes over to his customers. His face was blank when he turned back again, and for a moment I saw just how dominate Raven had become below the surface. His eyes were on my throat again, cold and calculating.
Unconsciously, I reached up and touched the skin, then froze completely.
In one horrifying moment, I realized what he was staring at. Cartman left a small trail of hickey's down my throat last night, and I had stupidly forgotten all about them. No doubt he branded me with the hopes Stan would see them and become aware of their significance.
I exhaled, trying to calm myself, not wanting to scream in public. Cartman was always one step ahead of me and I fucking resented it.
Stan propped his forearms on the counter and leaned across it, looking darkly into my eyes. "How long have you been together?"
"One year and three months," I said, the words coming out like a memorized prayer.
"One year and three months." His eyes burned into mine, face hardening, and I knew what he was thinking.
It had been exactly one year and three months since he had left, since we had make love, since our break up. Betrayal flashed through his eyes, guilt though mine. Because even though I had never even thought of being unfaithful to Stan, I knew how this must have looked to him.
Our noses were almost touching; we were both leaning forward, the intensity crackling like static around us. Neither of us seemed able to blink.
"I guess I lost my mind when you left me," I said, my voice coming out a strained, wheezing sort of whisper. The words left with the vitality of a ghost, thick but invisible and far more haunting in its power. It felt like the first truth I had utter since he'd left; as if everything inside of me had been bottled and sealed with airtight precision, and there was finally a tiny crack where everything that had been frozen inside could begin to thaw and seep through.
And I didn't want to stop. There was so much more that wanted to break lose and find its way to the light, make itself known after being imprisoned and forgotten for so long. But I was still too frozen, too dead on the inside.
A moments pause, a slight tripping of my heart, and suddenly we both broke off at the same time and looked away, me at the damned napkin dispenser and him at the counter top.
"You've slept with him," he whispered.
I looked back up, bland-faced. "Yeah. I have."
I couldn't read his expression with him looking down that way, but I watched his eyelashes brushing his cheeks as he blinked. When he looked back up, there was warmth in his eyes again, humor; it was like Raven had turned to smoke and vanished in a single breath. "Sick, dude."
"How do you do it? You used to hate him."
"Believe me, I still do."
He nodded and fumbled underneath the counter, then pulled out a menu and slid it toward me. "So you want some breakfast? There's an actual cook back there somewhere." He tossed his hand toward the rectangle cutout in the wall behind him.
"Do we trust him not to scratch his balls with the spatula?"
"Dude, I trust no one when it comes to shit like that. You just never know in this town."
"How about just some toast?" I decided, pushing the menu back toward him. He slipped it back under the counter.
"Coming right up." He tinked a bell on the counter. "Order of rye toast, light on the butter."
I felt suddenly warm inside, strangely happy as he pulled a glass from the freezer and filled it with milk.
"You remember how I like my toast?" I asked, awed. Cartman couldn't even remember my favorite color.
Stan nodded and flipped the milk tap off. "Of course I remember. Why wouldn't I?"
"Hey, kid." A man in a sun-yellow T-shirt and grey sweats was peering through the door behind Stan.
"Stan," he said.
"Whatever. My wife's comin' in soon, so your shift ends in five minutes. Be back tomorrow after school."
"Yes, sir," said Stan, but the guy had already disappeared again.
I suddenly seized up, momentarily stunned by the vibration of my cell phone in my pocket. Already I knew it was Cartman. There was no way it wouldn't be.
Marsh isn't here, the text read. You'd better not be at his house asshole.
My eyebrows drew together.
"So, Ky Ky." The brilliance of Stan's smile when I looked up was as dazzling as crystal raindrops. "Wanna hang out?"
I set my phone to mute and slid it back into my pocket, already thinking of a half dozen places we could go where Cartman wouldn't find us.
"I'd love to."